IntroductionIn recent years there have been several reported incidents of boats or their equipment contacting overhead power lines. Some of these have resulted in electric shocks, severe and debilitating burn injuries and, in some instances, death. Many of these incidents occurred on dry land whilst the boat was being rigged or moved in car parks or driveways.
Masts and rigging made from metal, carbon fibre or similar materials will conduct electricity. Many other materials will allow electricity to flow along them when they are wet. At higher voltages electricity may jump short distances through the air.
Top 5 tips on sailing safety
1. Unpack, set up and put away your boat at the water’s edge or away from overhead power lines.
2. Take extra care when moving a boat with the mast erected.
3. Look out for overhead power line warning notices and exclusion zone signs and obey any instructions.
4. Tell the site owner or club secretary of any dangerous situation or near miss that you see.
5. On unmanaged waters or sites where warning and exclusion zone signs have not been erected, keep a good look out for overhead power lines and keep away.
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