Lake Powell By Jean-Christophe BENOIST (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lawsuit Filed in Electrocution at Lake Powell

A lawsuit has been filed in the death of a 22-year-old man who jumped into Lake Powell last year and was electrocuted. The suit claims the water was charged with electricity from a boat plugged into the wrong size power outlet.

According to the Deseret News, Alec McQueen and two friends pulled their boat into an open slip at a marina about 7 p.m. on June 10, 2014. When the boat docked and the engine was off, McQueen jumped into the lake from the swim deck.

One of his friends heard him call her name. She turned and saw him in the water but he then disappeared. When she put her arm in the water, she received an electrical shock, the suit says. The two emergency responders who first arrived on the scene were also shocked when they touched the water.

An investigation found that the Colorado owner of a boat parked in the slip had inserted a power cord into the wrong amperage power outlet, and electricity was discharging into the water around it. The 50-amp outlet is designed to prevent users from plugging in the wrong cord, but the lawsuit claims it was not maintained and had worn down, allowing a 30-amp cord to be easily inserted. Also, outlet instructions and warning labels were so covered in dirt and grime they were no longer readable.

The suit maintains that the boat owner and Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, which manages the marina, were negligent in allowing water around the dock to become electrified.

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