A woman from the St. Louis area was electrocuted while swimming at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend — the third victim in a week to die by electrocution at the lake.
Authorities identified the latest victim as Jennifer L. Lankford, 26, and said she lived in Hazelwood, though some documents indicate she lived in St. Charles County.
Lankford was swimming with her two stepbrothers, ages 11 and 13. She was electrocuted when she touched a dock that apparently had faulty wiring, said Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri Highway Patrol. She was pulled from the water and given CPR, but she died later at a hospital, Reinsch said. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
The boys she swam with said they felt a tingling in the water and swam to another dock, authorities said. They were uninjured.
The incident occurred at Dry Branch Cove in Morgan County at about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, three days after two children from Ashland were electrocuted while swimming at Gravois Arm on the Fourth of July. The children were 13-year-old Alexandra Anderson and her 8-year-old brother Brayden, of Ashland.
The electrocution of Lankford happened on the lake's 5-mile marker. She was with family members, including two other adults. The dock is among a few owned by the family, Reinsch said, and the cove is home to private docks and cabins.
"This particular one is very similar to the last one," Reinsch said. "Improper wiring on the dock. The initial report is that they (Lankford's relatives) were having electricial problems on the dock earlier."
Reinsch said the Highway Patrol is encouraging dock owners to recheck the wiring on docks every year.
"Have docks professionally checked on a routine basis," he said. "Even if you have proper wiring installed, make sure the GFI is working properly."
Reinsch said anyone who feels electricity while swimming should swim to another dock.
He said the three deaths this year are rare.
"It's been several years since the last one," he said. "It's a rare thing. For some reason, we're having more."