BEST Engineering on Marina Electrical Systems
ON JULY 4, 2012, THE FAMILIES OF A 10-year-old and a 11-year-old boys were celebrating together on Lake Cherokee, located in the small northwestern Tennessee town of Bean Station. The day started like any other holiday on the lake, filled with swimming, boating, and barbecuing. That afternoon, though, they were swimming in a marina when they received an electrical shock. One boy died instantly from electrocution, and the other died in the hospital the next day. Several other people who jumped into the water to save the boys were injured, but survived. An investigation found that the source of the electricity was current leaking from a boat that was plugged into the marina’s electrical system.
Electric shock drowning, or ESD, has gained nationwide attention over the last few years due to high-profile incidents that have led to deaths, mostly among children and young adults. Two children in Missouri died of ESD on the same day as the two boys lost their lives. “This has been a hard thing to process because it could have been prevented,” said one of the Mothers “ People just aren’t aware you can get shocked in the water like this.” Sadly, incidents like this are on the rise, but they can be eliminated with a proper ground fault detection system at your marina.
Ground faults within boats and within the marina wiring system need to be eliminated:
* The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires a ground detection system
as of the 2011 edition and later:
Article 555.3: The main overcurrent protective device that feeds the
floating structure shall have ground fault protection not exceeding100 mA. Ground fault protection of each individual branch or feeder circuit shall be permitted as a suitable alternative.
* LEAKAGE CURRENT iinto the water carries grave risks
* WASTED ELECTRICITY IS ELIMINATED...At Heritage Marina we found that we were wasting approximately $70/month from one boat alone due to faulty wiring within the vessel.
* A GROUND FAULT MONITOR detects and isolates bad circuits, and sends a notification via email to the Dockmaster.
* BOATS WITH IMPROPER WIRING
may come in at anytime and plug
into your system....placing the
entire Marina at risk ! You can never
know which vessels plugging into
your electrical system may have
improper wiring, placing electric
current into the water around your
Other Marina Safety Requirements:
NFPA 303 Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards:
5.20.1 An inspection of all electrical wiring, ground connections,
conduit, hangers, supports, connections, outlets, appliances,
devices, and portable cables installed or used in a marina,
boatyard, boat basin, or similar establishment shall be
made at regular intervals to ensure a complete inspection at
5.20.2 The inspection required in 5.20.1 shall include a test
of ground integrity and polarity.
Heritage Marina had a poor lighting system with many non working fixtures. The entire system was upgraded with LED lighting including controls for dusk to dawn, along with fixtures that brighten as they were approached. Each power pedestal was refurbished to include new LED
Each Power Pedestal was refurbished to
include new LED lamps. Power Pedestal upgrades
were completed renewing all corroded connections,
power sockets and circuit breakers.
We have the option of adding metering to each
pedestal for billing of individual vessels
for electricity in the future.
Heritage Marina hired BEST Engineering to design an upgrade
to the electrical and lighting systems.
We selected a Bender ground fault detection panel to monitor
all the circuits feeding shore power receptacles.
We elected to monitor each circuit separately,
because we did not want the whole marina
shut down due to one boat connecting up in the middle of the night.
When a fault occurs, only that circuit is shut down,
and a warning message is sent via email to the Dockmaster.
Heritage Marina Dockmaster House showing new deck lighting
Call Brian to discuss your
Marina's customer's Safety...
Brian Seley PE of BEST Engineering with new Ground Fault
Monitoring Panel at Heritage Marina
" Doug Decker, of the Heritage Marina says of their experience: " Brian Seley of BEST engineering designed a system that greatly increased our safety and utility here at Heritage Marina. His design allowed us to receive multiple bids for the electrical work, thus saving Heritage over $40,000 by using the lowest qualified bidder. If we had just gone to a contractor for this work, I am sure we would have paid much more and not received the quality oversight that an independent engineer allows."
Upgraded Power Pedestal at Heritage Marina