I had a disscussion with an electrical engineer this last weekend and came up with an unknown. Perhaps someone knows the why you should not get into a pool with downed power lines in it. Is it because all of the water is electrified or because the path of electricity to ground is unpredictable or death is certain if you come into physical contact with the live wires. Everyone had a speculation but no one was certain of the precise nature of the seamingly obvious danger.
Here is my take on this problem. The water is a poor conductor but it is flowing current. A person in the water is a better conductor than the water itself. The person and the water are in parallel, and more current will flow on the path with the lower resistance. In many cases enough current will flow to cause injury or death. If water was a much better conductor, then you would be safer under these conditions...you would be like a bird on a wire.
Water is a nonconductor it is the minerals ,chemicals,and other impurities that are the in the water that make water conduct. I have seen 120 volt lights burn in tanks of deionized and distilled water with no problems.
I have seen common drop cord lights burn in everyday contaminated water, too. The problem is there is a current flowing through the water which will tickle or shock you when you jump or fall in with the light.