There is a third requirement for most ESD cases too — swimming in a marina. That’s because it’s not the electricity in the water surrounding the boat but rather the voltage difference between that electrical leak and nearby grounded objects, like an adjacent, properly grounded boat, that causes electrocution. However, wire faults on docks alone (and even in swimming pools) have directly caused ESD deaths in both fresh and salt water. And even if a boat’s ground works perfectly, there is no guarantee the dockside receptacle it’s plugged into has an intact ground. “It’s only in the last few years, through efforts by ABYC and others, that marina operators are becoming involved proactively,” Sherman says. Shore-power receptacles, boxes, pedestals and wiring, as well as dock lighting circuits, should be inspected regularly, both in commercial marinas and on private docks.