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Thu. Apr 26th 2018
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Dispatched for a report of a vessel adrift in the main channel between R22 and R24. Found a 2014 Supra with the boat cover in place, unoccupied and sitting against the rocks near R21A. Took the vess...
Sun. Apr 22nd 2018
Dispatched for a brush fire near Lands End Road, Moneta. Searched shoreline while repsonding land units searched area. Nothing found.
Tue. Apr 10th 2018
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Members from Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue (SMLMVFR) responded to a rekindle of the Franklin County Oak Park Drive residential structure fire. SMLMVFR worked with units from Glade ...
Mon. Apr 9th 2018
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Members from Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue (SMLMVFR) responded to a residential structure fire on Oak Park Drive in Franklin County. SMLMVFR established a backup water supply and w...
Tue. Apr 3rd 2018
Dispatched for a report of possible HAZMAT floating on the surface of the water in the area of the Virginia Inland Sailing Association between marker R11 and R11A. After an extensive search nothing w...
News Headlines
Sun. Mar 14th 2021
For the complete story visit wset.com or copy and paste this link into your browser https://wset.com/news/local/crews-thankful-for-safety-of-6-people-after-boat-catches-fire-sinks-on-smlCrews thankful...
Sun. Mar 14th 2021
For the complete story visit WDBJ7.com or copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.wdbj7.com/2021/03/14/smith-mountain-lake-marine-volunteer-fire-department-helps-save-boat-fire-from-spr...
Sat. Mar 13th 2021
For the complete story visit wsls.com or copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2021/03/13/crews-responded-to-boat-fire-at-smith-mountain-lake/Crews responded to bo...
Wed. Oct 21st 2020
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For the complete story visit WDBJ7 or copy and paste this link into your favorite browserhttps://www.wdbj7.com/video/2020/10/21/money-clip-returned/ A member of Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fi...
News
Laker Weekly - Stray voltage found around lake docks
Fri. Oct 6th 2017

Stray voltage found around lake docks

By Jason Dunovant | jason.dunovant@ smithmountainlaker.com | 721-4675 (ext. 407)  Oct 6, 2017

Shock drowning is a real concern for Neil Harrington. As a diver with the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department, he makes sure to check for any possible electrical current before going into the water near docks.

Last month, Harrington began providing free dock checks for homeowners. So far, he said he has found a majority of docks have some stray voltage in the water.

Harrington has visited 20 docks with another 38 on his schedule. Out of those, he said, only two have not shown any signs of stray voltage. “Most of the docks have had stray voltage in the water,” he said.

When doing a check, Harrington places a water voltage detector in different locations around a dock. The majority of them have stray voltage coming from the boat lifts. Harrington said he often finds a small amount voltage coming off the boat lifts, usually not farther than 3 feet from the lift.

“It’s not a lot of voltage, but it is enough to be concerning,” Harrington said.

Most of Harrington’s readings have been in the millivolts range, but he said as few as two volts could result in death from drowning. Electric shock drowning occurs when an electrical current passes through an individual in the water. The person can become paralyzed and unable to swim away or stay afloat.

The docks Harrington said he has checked vary in age, size and shape.

SMLMVFR recently purchased its own water voltage detector and several department members have their own detectors. Members of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council recently approved the purchase of a water voltage detector for Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. The department will use the detector for dock checks and to assist its Scruggs Dive Team.

Harrington said he plans to speak with building inspectors in both Bedford and Franklin counties to discuss stray voltage around docks. He questioned if there should be checks for stray voltage in the water before a dock passes inspection.

“To me, that would make sense,” Harrington said.

Lake homeowners interested in having their docks checked can visit smlmfr.com (select the Dock Check — Stray Voltage tab).

56 entries in the News

56 entries in the News


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