Texas Pastor Electrocuted During Baptism

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http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PASTOR_ELECTROCUTED?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US&TEMPLATE ÞFAULT&CTIME 05-10-31-00-42-41
Oct 31, 12:42 AM EST Texas Pastor Electrocuted During Baptism
WACO, Texas (AP) -- A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after adjusting a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said.
The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.
Water in a baptistery usually reaches above the waist, said Byron Weathersbee, interim university chaplain at Baylor University.
Lake was pronounced dead at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said...
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TO PROTECT AGAINST ELECTRICAL HAZARDS, DO NOT IMMERSE OBJECT IN WATER.
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WTF.... They never heard of GFIs?
In the plus side, I would guess if you die in a baptism pool, you go directly to heaven, or at least you get a free ocean cruise.
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wrote:

A GFCI would not necessarily protect against a short internal to the equipment not involving the mains AC supply. I sure would like to see the failure analysis report on the defective equipment (apparently they had used the mic before in that way). The output to a PA system can easily be 70V varying AC frequency and several amps depending on the wattage. A short from the output or an internal HV DC source to the mic preamp could kill without tripping a GFCI. It may have been as simple as a shorted decoupling capacitor.
I think a wireless microphone is much more appropriate for anybody doing this kind of thing.
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Absolutely. It's a shame no one told this pastor before this hapened though. :-\
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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On 11/01/05 08:09 pm PipeDown tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

I've read that people who don't understand completely what they are doing will often disconnect the ground wire or cut the ground pins off the plugs on some or all of their sound equipment in an effort to reduce or eliminate hum caused by ground loops.
This story shows why this is *not* a good idea.
But, yes, wireless mikes definitely have an advantage in situations like this.
Perce
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Imagine the poor woman who was about to step into the pool with him when this happened. If she had doubts about her religious conversion I'm sure that they evaporated in a flash.
God is looking out for that lady<g>. I hope she bought a lottery ticket on Sunday; with her luck it is a guaranteed winner.
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John wrote:

That's the optimistic view, assuming that the luck lasts all day. I see it as "What miracle did I give up for that?" I guess that one was good enough to be a keeper, though...
--
Cheers,
Bev
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On Tue, 01 Nov 2005 18:05:41 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Doesn't sound right. The juice to drive a microphone is in the low DC voltage value and runs on milliamps. Its even weaker than the current that drives the big speakers. Water or no water I have never come across anyone being zapped by a frayed microphone wire let alone suffer injury by one.
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On Wed 02 Nov 2005 05:29:38a, PaPaPeng wrote in alt.home.repair:

Depends on the system. PA systems often run both speaker and microphone circuits on voltages that could be high enough to do this, given water and ground. I can remember being shocked by a PA mike that was improperly grounded.
--
Wayne Boatwright *¿*
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(Wayne Boatwright) writes:
| Depends on the system. PA systems often run both speaker and microphone | circuits on voltages that could be high enough to do this, given water and | ground. I can remember being shocked by a PA mike that was improperly | grounded.
I got a nasty shock from the mike ground connection on an old PA system that I had borrowed from a different lab. Turned out that the chassis (and mike ground) were connected to one side of the line and somebody had replaced the power plug with a non-polarized version. The poeple I borrowed it from knew this and had some marking so they plugged it in the "right" way (if you can ever consider having the mike ground connected to the local neutral "right") but they forgot to mention any of that to me...
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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PaPaPeng wrote:

Well, you have now...
I suspect it may well have been fed through the amp, but however it was, it got him w/ enough to kill.
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When I was about 12, in 1959, I think I was trying to get more sound from a crystal radio. Or maybe more frequencies. This would only pick up one station. Or maybe I was just trying to improve the tv picture, but I connected something to the tv antenna, and another wire from the same thing to the metal grill of a heating vent. I got quite a shock.
Everything I've learned since then says that the potential on a tv antenna ought to be minuscule, picovolts or something, but it sure zapped me.
We also had a table radio which we set on a small metal table. There may have been a chip in the case at the rear of the radio, and when the radio moved to the side and one leg went off the table, the metal chassis touched the metal shelf, and when I touched the decorative metal cap of the leg that extended above the top shelf, I got a little electric buzz. There were no polarized plugs then, and it was also fine to have the metal chassis of a radio completely uncovered on the bottom. Even then it shouldn't have given a shock, but maybe a condensor between the cord and the chassis had shorted. ??? Or transmitted enough to give me that buzz.
BTW, if I understand correctly, I was electrocuted on both those occasions, even if I wasn't killed.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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You do *not* understand correctly. Electrocution is, by definition, fatal, as you can readily confirm with any dictionary.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 21:56:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Be sure to emphasize "not".

That appears to be the case. In fact the word seems to be combination of electicity and execute, making the point even more clearly. I'm going to try to remember where I got my idea.
It's worth commenting that a court or prison system can execute any sentence, but somehow it became synonymous with executing a death sentence. (That's not what accounts for my apparent mistake regarding electocute.)
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If there was a fault/leakage in the amp that connected the AC line to the chassis then the mic was hot. Water and electricity don't mix.
Whatever the reason, apparently his god failed him.
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Wes Stewart wrote:

...

We don't know that... :)
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On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 10:56:12 -0600, Duane Bozarth

He was certainly "called home". Whether that was a failure or a blessing was only known to the pastor.
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As others have mentioned, PA systems are different than consumer-grade stuff. 70 volt audio lines etc.
In order for this to happen, tho, it probably required both a frayed cord and a defect inside the amplifier.
While it isn't very common, over the years I've heard of about half a dozen people getting killed by microphones. Usually in the UK, with their higher mains voltages means that you have less chance of survival (with some sort of line-microphone cord short).
If I recall correctly, some fairly famous rock vocalist was killed on stage this way.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) writes:

A source close to the scene indicated that this particular mic was on 48V phantom power and may have fallen into the font and then been grabbed by the pastor. That'd certainly be enough to have this happen considering as little as 100mA for 2sec is enough to fibrillate your heart.
"70V audio lines" are typically only for commercial PA applications with speaker distribution systems (e.g. installed musak in a store), and wouldn't be involved here, as we're on the input side of the PA. However, phantom power, a DC standard of 48V for biasing electret condenser mic capsules, is extremely likely to be present on the 3-conductor XLR cables that are used with PA systems. If there is any current limiting in their design, it's in excess of an amp iirc.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Electrocutions and shock hazards have been around since the very early days of sound systems. The old amplifier designs were more likely to present a hazard, but anything connected to directly to the power mains with a hardwire cable can also present a hazard. The hazard is greatly increased if water is involved. Broadcasters have known this for years.
A conventional wired microphone has either 2 or 3 conductors, one of which is always supposed to be grounded to minimize noise pickup from stray electromagnetic fields. If there is a fault in the amp or the power supply wiring, it is quite easy to have the microphone ground become a live AC mains "Hot Wire". Apparently this is what happened to the preacher and the current passed through his body into the water which was at or near ground potential.
As has been said before, an inexpensive RF mic is the way to go in these situations.
Beachcomber
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