Currently there are around 25,000 docks at the lake. Most of them have never been inspected, and around 8,000 fall in uncoded territory.
“It’s kind of like the ‘Wild West’ in a way,” said Franken.
“An unincorporated area where they don't even have the authority to implement an ordinance,” said Bachman.
There's also no fire authority that conducts inspections, so even if the dock was built after 2006, Ameren waives the mandatory inspection.
As long as people keep using docks at the lake, officials out here are urging them to get educated on what to look for and get their dock inspected.
“Homeowners have most stake,” said Green.
The problem is even if people make sure their dock is safe, there's no guarantee their neighbor's is.
“Your dock can be perfectly fine, but you could still get electrocuted by your next door neighbor's 200 or 300 feet away,” said Franken.
Because people can't always control if electricity gets into the water, it is important to know what to do in an emergency.
“If you are in the water and you start feeling tingling as you swim to a dock, stop, tread water and back away from that dock,” said Nichols.
“You have to be very careful how you approach someone in the water that has been shocked or you will end up shocked as well,” said Green.
Knowing what to do can stop a future death. With no new laws in place yet, that's what officials are relying on. ABC 17 News asked officials if they thought we could go into this summer knowing we are better off and safer than the year before.
“I think of course, awareness is up tremendously over last year,” said Miller.
“Every dock you inspect that wasn't inspected before improves the safety atmosphere of the lake, so absolutely I would say we are a lot safer,” said Franken.
While officials say safety is improving, they are now waiting on the public. If people want to see a change, those in charge are ready to listen.
“I think it's a serious decision that needs to be handled by the people,” said Franken.
If people are interested in seeing laws or regulations change, local and state officials urge them to come up with a petition. Any change could take months to years.