MCSO: Deaths of 2 at Lake Pleasant tied to electrical current

Posted 7/15/20

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.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

MCSO: Deaths of 2 at Lake Pleasant tied to electrical current

Posted

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:

  1. The Scorpion Bay Marina’s electrical system is a safe operating system and the public should not be concerned with their safety regarding dock usage.
  2. DO NOT do your own 120-volt AC electrical work on a boat or DO NOT hire an electrician who is not familiar with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards. Many of the problems that lead to electrical faults result from the differences between shore and boat electrical systems and standards.
  3. DO NOT use common household extension cords for providing shore power to your boat. Use, and encourage other boaters to use, shore power cords built to UL standards.
  4. Have your boat tested once a year to see if it is leaking electricity.
  5. It is not advised to swim within 100 yards of any freshwater marina.

Comments