ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–For the third time in a week, a swimmer has died of electrocution near another dock with faulty wiring at Lake of the Ozarks — this latest victim a young woman from Hazelwood.
Jennifer Lankford, 26, had been swimming with her two step brothers, ages 11 and 13, near a dock her family owns at Dry Branch Cove in Morgan County, around 7:45 Saturday night, according to the Highway Patrol.
“The two boys swam to a nearby dock and the 26-year old tried to exit the water by touching the ladder to get out of the water and she received an electrical charge at that time,” said Troop F Patrol spokesman Sgt. Paul Reinsch.
The surviving boys told investigators they too felt something wasn’t right in the water.
“They said that they could feel that tingling, that electrical feeling in the water,” Reinsch said, “and I’m not sure if someone told them to go to another dock, but it was a very good decision that they made.”
On the Fourth of July, two children from Ashland, Missouri were also electrocuted while swimming near a different dock with faulty wiring at Gravois Arm.
The patrol is advising swimmers to swim away from any dock where the surrounding water feels electrically charged.
Reinsch says dock-related electrocutions are rare, but dock owners should have their sites inspected by a licensed, professional electrician once a year before every swimming season to make sure they are safe.