Edge Athlete Avoids Tragic Outcome
— July 24, 2010
Jack Decker, a member of our 13u West team that played in Shippensburg, PA this past week was also scheduled to be with his team for the three day tournament. However, as a result of a freak accident, he was ordered sidelined by his doctor and did not make the trip. The incident all started a few weeks ago when Jack and friend Rush Hogan from Duxbury, MA, went swimming in Lake Champlain on July 10, in Burlington Vt, with their parents nearby.
Suddenly, Jack yelled, “Help! Something’s got us! It hurts. It’s stinging.” Jack then immediately went unconscious and began to slip beneath the water’s surface. Jack’s Mom, Marta, and Rush’s Mom, Eileen, called out, “Get help. Call 911!”
Rush’s Dad, Art Hogan, was closest to the boys and dove into the water to save them. He did not yet know that the water was energized, only that the boys were in trouble. As he surfaced from his dive, he yelled out, “Electricity. Pull the plug!”
Jack’s Dad, Mike, and Rush’s mom, Eileen Hogan ran to the water’s edge and jumped onto a nearby boat. Art pushed the boys towards Mike and Eileen, who pulled the unconscious boys from the water and handed them to Marta on the dock.
Eileen then realized that her husband had slipped beneath the surface. She turned to the water and saw her husband with his hand outstretched toward her beneath the water. Art knew that the boys were now safe. He had used every ounce of his strength to save the boys, and had nothing left. He extended his hand in hopes that someone would see it. His wife, Eileen, grabbed her husband’s arm. She screamed “I’m losing him!” so Mike returned to help Eileen, who together with an anonymous bystander lifted Art up into his wife’s arms.
The two boys, as well as Art and Eileen were transported by ambulance to the Emergency Room of a Burlington hospital where they were treated and released several hours later. Both families returned to their respective homes, and are continuing to receive outpatient care for their injuries.
The incident occurred because the owners of a nearby boat forced a 120volt/30amp power cord into a 240volt/50amp outlet, causing the excess 120volts of electricity to travel through the
boat’s swimming ladder and into the water and severely shock the boys. According to local officials investigation the incident, 30 & 50 amp equipment was not physically compatible, but the investigation after the incident showed that the 30 amp prongs were bent. A safety tab on one of the prongs, designed to prevent such a connection, was actually forced through the plastic housing on the face of the 50 amp receptacle, defeating the inherent safety features of the equipment. The investigation is continuing and charges are pending against the boat owners.
Jack is undergoing more heart and neurological testing and hopes to make a full recovery. Although he missed the tournament, he was there with his heart and soul. Let’s all pray for Jack so that his full recovery comes sooner than later.