The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and other officials have determined that an electrical current was limited to the surrounding area of a single boat and led to the deaths of two brothers at Lake Pleasant.
The incident in question happened Sunday night at Scorpion Bay Marina.
In a release Wednesday afternoon, MCSO said the first priority in the investigation was to determine ongoing safety for the public, employees at Scorpion Bay Marina, and MCSO personnel investigating.
On the night of the incident with the assistance of Arizona Public Service, MCSO was able to shut down electricity to dock A, allowing for a safe scene for Lake Patrol detectives and divers during the body recovery and inspection of the electrical components.
On Monday morning, detectives, with the assistance of the city of Peoria Electrical Inspector, and a commercial electrician who specializes in marina construction, determined the Scorpion Bay Marina’s electrical infrastructure was operating properly and safely.
The second phase of the investigation was to determine the source of the electricity that contributed to the deaths of Michael and Timothy Miller.
Under the supervision of electrical professionals, Lake Patrol detectives conducted multiple tests and ultimately recreated the circumstances which placed electrical voltage into the water. The result was isolated to the electrical system of the victim’s watercraft only. No other boats or slips were affected, MCSO stated.
MCSO said the victim’s boat had an electrical connection system which was not compatible with the marina’s receptacle. Electrical safety features were bypassed by the intentional and improper modification of the boat’s electrical connection system, officials said, resulting in electricity being discharged into the water around the swim platform, which is where the victims entered the water.
The investigation is ongoing.
MCSO offers the following safety considerations while out on the lake: