James Tramel, 43, was electrocuted after he jumped into a swimming pool to save his 9-year-old daughter who had suffered an electric shock while swimming in the pool. According to an NBC news report, the incident occurred on March 27, 2016. Police said Tramel, a tech executive from Burlingame, was at a family gathering in Palm Springs when he noticed his daughter getting shocked while swimming.
She was turning blue, which is when Tramel jumped in to save her and was electrocuted. Tramel died a short time later at a local hospital. His daughter remains in critical condition. Two other children, 8 and 6, and a 45-year-old woman were all treated and released from an area hospital for related injuries. Authorities are still trying to figure out how the incident occurred. They suspect faulty pool wiring sent electricity surging through the water.
Swimming Pool Electrocutions
Electrical shocks or electrocutions in swimming pools can be rare, but this incident is proof that these tragedies can happen. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that since 1990, there have been 60 electrocutions and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools. Swimmers who are shocked often feel a tingling sensation, experienced muscle cramps or feel frozen or unable to move.
Preventing Swimming Pool Electrical Accidents
There are several tips homeowners would be well advised to follow in order to ensure that their pool is safe for themselves and visitors:
• Make sure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools including cleaning equipment is grounded.
• Electrical devices and cords should be kept at least 10 feet away from pools and spas. When possible, use battery-operated electrical devices outside.
• Use a ground fault circuit interrupter for electrical devices used outside to prevent electrocutions and electric shock injuries.
• Do not handle electrical devices when you are wet.
• Do not allow power lines to go over a swimming pool.
• Do not swim during a thunderstorm.
• Have an electrician inspect and upgrade your pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with applicable local codes.
• If something goes wrong, be sure to turn off all power. If not rescuers can also become victims, as it happened in this particular case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, please contact an experienced California swimming pool accident lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.