Bypassed electrical safety features may have caused the deaths of two brothers at Lake Pleasant.
After brothers Michael and Timothy Miller died at the Scorpion Bay Marina July 12, electrocution was a suspected “factor” in the deaths, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The Peoria Fire-Medical Department responded to a 911 call at Scorpion Bay Marina.
“Originally it was thought to be a drowning; turns out to be a possible electrocution accident,” said Mario Bravo, a fire department spokesman.
MCSO Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez said lake patrol deputies found Michael Miller, 50, unresponsive on the swim deck of his boat.
He was transported to a hospital, where he died, Enriquez said.
“Michael’s brother, 53-year-old Timothy Miller, was located deceased floating under the dock,” Enriquez said.
According to Enriquez, APS shut down electricity to the dock after the deaths.
“On Monday morning, detectives with the assistance of the city of Peoria electrical inspector and a commercial electrician who specializes in Marina construction were able to determine the Scorpion Bay Marina’s electrical infrastructure was operating properly and safely,” Enriquez said.
“The second phase of the investigation was to determine the source of the electricity that contributed to the drowning of Michael and Timothy.”
Enriquez said detectives conducted numerous tests.
“This result was isolated to the electrical system of the victim’s watercraft only. No other boats or slips were affected,” he said.
The victim’s boat had an electrical connection system which was not compatible with the marina’s system, Enriquez said.
“Electrical safety features were bypassed by the intentional and improper modification of the boat’s electrical connection system. This resulted in electricity being discharged into the water around the swim platform, which is where the victims entered the water,” he said.
“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,” Enriquez said.
•He stressed the following safety precautions for boat owners:
•Do not do your own 120-volt AC electrical work on a boat.
•Hire an electrician who is familiar with American Boat and Yacht Council standards.
•Use only shore power cords (common household extension cords).
•Have your boat tested once a year to see if it is leaking electricity.
•Don’t swim within 100 yards of any freshwater marina.