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The Electrical Safe Boat House
The Water Safety Council was formed, in part, because of electrical shock  around boathouses.
    Electrocution is still a real possibility at Lake Gaston.
    Improper installation,  faulty equipment,  or frayed wiring can allow electricity to flow into the water around the source.
    The accompanying picture shows a quick check for voltage on boat lift.
   The lift is up in the air not touching the water.
   The meter is set to a low range for AC voltage ( sorry, this $10 multimeter's lowest tange is 200)
    The black test lead is hanging in the water and the red test lead should touch a crossbar or the cable on the lift.
    If you don't feel comfortable testing this, ask an electrician.
   Space is too short to go into all of the possibilities of what could go wrong,  but here's a known problem.
   You may have two grounding rods connected in the electrical panel (breaker box) at the boathouse. They can be at different potentials and cause an unbalanced system.
[  ] Look for a grounding rod at the shore and trace it to the panel.
[  ] Now look for the power wires that are coming from your house. If the bare copper wire in that cable is connected, along with the wire that comes from the rod you found, that could be your problem.
[  ] Kill the breaker at house that feeds power to the boathouse.
[  ] Remove one of those grounds (either, but I'd  remove the one from the shore rod) and securely tighten the remaining ground wire and any other wires that were under the ground lug in the panel.
[  ] Turn the breaker back on and retest with the meter.
    If you are ever in the water and you feel a "tingle or buzz" swim back the way you came and have it checked out.

Wyatt Andrews
(Not an electrician)


In 2022, the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council . . .

Received funds from Dominion EnergyVirginia Beach Utilities, and Members, as well as partnered with USCG Auxiliary911 TaskForce, area VFDs, and VA & NC Wildlife to provide safety awareness around Lake Gaston. 

We provided over 50 Lawn signs that are posted at ramps, businesses, along roadsides and at HOAs.

Funded the Life Jackets Loaner Program and worked with 7 area marinas/campgrounds to have jackets available to the public.

Updated brochures and promoted our new web addresslkgwsc.org.

We stuffed 1,000 Brochures Packets (with safety literature and maps, along with 911 Taskforce information), then distributed to participating realtors, businesses, and marina partners.

Held 8 Membership Meetings with 7 programs presenting local, state, and federal safety laws and updated changes. 

The LGWSC Safety trailer was set-up for:
   Seven weeks at John 3:16 (C.A.R.E.) Childrens Summer camp to assist USCG Aux. with presentations, reaching over 130 campers and 8 counselors.
   Public locations
   Staffed at 6 locations where we met over 400 people and distributed brochures, maps, wristbands and whistles.

The Get Home Safely Program provided Fire Extinguishers and Throwables to USCG. This program keeps Coast Guard from having to escort boats to their dock and builds fellowship in the community. 

Allocated funds to assist USCG Aux to acquire a Viper radio so they can directly communicate with law enforcement, EMS, and Fire.

Your Board held it’s first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 12.   Committee assignments were confirmed and planning is underway for the 2023 boating season.   

The Board will meet two more times before our first meeting of the season on Wednesday, March 29.   Yes, we will return to the Kennon House.  Stay tuned for more details.  

If you haven’t paid your 2023 membership dues, please do so now.  You can pay online or send a $10.00 check, payable to the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council, POB 207, Henrico, NC, 27842.  Your tax deductible donation helps the volunteer leadership continue with our water safety programs.   

Although we’ve adjourned for the year, it’s always the right time to think about water safety! Have a wonderful holiday season & we’ll  see you next year!

Please be extra careful this long weekend.   More boat activity is expected and the USCG and the Auxiliary Flotilla 9-3 will be on the water.  We have had a wonderful season with warm water temperatures.  Let's all enjoy the last official summer weekend of 2022.

It goes without saying designate the DD if partying on the water.  Remember life jackets float and people don't.  

Please watch out for the other guy.

Best wishes for safe boating from the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council.  

Become a Member of the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council

Memberships are $5.00 per person - $10.00 per family $10.00 per Business.