Tuesday, July 10, 2012
A Hazelwood woman has died in a second weekend dock electrocution at Lake of the Ozarks.
Jennifer Lankford, 26, was swimming with two children around a private dock near Dry Branch Cove’s 4-mile marker shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday when a current of electricity hit the water.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch said when the trio felt the electrical current run though the water the children swam away from the dock, but Lankford swam back to the dock.
Reinsch said she was electrocuted when she apparently touched the structure.
The Patrol spokesman said it is his understandin there were several electrical problems on the dock and that the investigation is ongoing. An autopsy to determine the exact cause of Lankford's death was scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The death follows the Fourth of July deaths of Ashland siblings Alexandra and Brayden Anderson. The 13-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother were electrocuted while swimming near a private dock at the 6.5 mile marker of the Gravois Arm.
The Patrol cited an improperly grounded electrical circuit as a contributing factor in Anderson deaths.
Reinsch cautioned all Lake Area property owners to have the electrical wiring on their private docks inspected by a certified electrician and to make sure they instruct everyone who utilizes the structure to be aware of what to do should an electrical problem occur.
“We want to make sure that anyone who swims near a dock understands that if they feel electrical current in the water they need to leave the area around the dock immediately,” Reinsch said. “They should swim to a another dock or exit point and get out of the water as quickly as possible and under no circumstance touch the dock.”
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