A recent letter to Branson Mayor Karen Best highlights the importance of dock electrical safety as the temperatures rise and people start swimming and boating.
Branson resident, Howard Slagter’s grandson was on their dock when he felt a minor electrical shock they traced to a nearby dock. Slagter wanted to fix the problem but didn’t know where to go. He turned to City of Branson employees for help who were able to facilitate a solution to this potentially deadly situation.
In his letter Slagter wrote, “…nothing would have happened if it weren't for the help of (city employees) Roy (Swarms), Joel (Hornickel) and Denny (Rogers) that worked for me as a Branson citizen even beyond their authority that might have saved a life as there was enough current to easily kill someone even a fisherman in a boat. I commend them for what they did and hope you do as well.”
While the City of Branson is glad to help in any way possible, residents and guests should contact the Missouri Highway Patrol with any concerns or questions pertaining to dock safety. Branson’s citizens can contact Troop D’s dispatch office located in Springfield at 417-895-6868. The Highway Patrol’s officers in this particular situation were very helpful and responsive when we contacted them for assistance on this topic.
The City of Branson strongly suggests dock owners to have routine maintenance performed on their dock(s) if they include electrical devices, when there is a change of ownership, when they are affected by a flood event or significant changes in the lake level. A qualified electrician will be able to check the electrical systems for any possible damage or breaches to prevent the potential of shock on the lake.
The City of Branson is continuing to work with the Army Corps of Engineers on this topic as well so we all have a better and unified understanding of authority, process, and expectations.