State Senate Approves “Noah Dean And Nate Act” To Prevent Electric Shock Injuries And Drowning Deaths On Tennessee Waters

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Legislation which aims to prevent electric shock injuries and drowning deaths near marinas and boat docks in Tennessee has received final approval in the State Senate with all members signing on the bill sponsored by Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown). The “Noah Dean and Nate Act” requires marinas to install ground fault protection, post notices about the danger of electrical leakage into waters surrounding a marina, and requires annual inspections by the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s office to ensure ground fault safety in the future.

The bill is named in memory of 10-year-old Noah Dean Winstead and 11-year-old Nate Lynam who died from electrical injuries they suffered on July 4, 2012, while swimming near a houseboat at a marina near Morristown, Tn.  Since that time, their parents have worked to pass legislation to help ensure such a tragedy does not occur again.

“No parent should have to suffer this kind of tragedy,” said Senator Southerland.  “This legislation implements safety measures to help ensure that the waters in and around boat docks and marinas are safe and that notices are posted to help protect the public.”

Details of the Senate Bill 1954 include:

·       Effective April 1, 2015, any main overcurrent protective device, installed or replaced, that feeds a marina must have a ground-fault protection not exceeding 100 milliamperes (mA); 

·       Between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2017 and every five years thereafter, a safety inspection must be made by the state fire marshal;

·       If a deficiency is found, the subsequent follow-up inspection required for repairs must be conducted by a commissioned deputy electrical inspector;

·       Permanent safety signage must be installed within 80 feet to give notice to persons using the boat dock or marina or swimming area near the boat dock or marina, of the electric shock hazard risks;

·       The bill prescribes penalties for violation of the proposed act which range from a Class A misdemeanor for violation of the ground-fault protection requirement when it does not result in bodily injury to a Class E felony if failure to adhere to the law results in death; and

·       If any boat dock or marina operator who is found guilty under this law fails to comply with the requirements within 90 days of the judgment, the state fire marshal will declare the boat dock or marina to be a threat to public safety and order its closure until it is in compliance.     

“I applaud the courage of the parents of  Noah Dean and Nate in working toward passage of this legislation,” said Senator Southerland.  “It is a tremendous public safety bill that will help prevent serious electric shock injuries and drowning deaths in Tennessee.”

The bill is pending consideration in the House of Representatives.



Tellico Hatchery Veteran's Event Is Successful

The TWRA, Tellico Hatchery held Project healing Waters Tellico River Fishing Event. Although the third year for a Project Healing Waters event, this was the first year that anglers fished the Tellico River. The event was previously held at Green Cove Pond. This year’s event was held in honor of the two fallen naval aviators, Lieutenant Patrick “Tank” Ruth and Lieutenant ... (click for more)

TWRA Regional Office Receives Pollinator Garden Grant

The TWRA Region 3 office has received a grant from the national Bayer Feed a Bee program to install a pollinator garden at its Crossville office. This national program has allotted $500,000 in grants to establish foraging plots for pollinators in all 50 states by the end of 2018. The Feed a Bee program has funded a total of 71 projects through the initiative to increase forage for ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning; 1 Is Killed; 2 Victims Are Known Gang Members

Ladarius Cross, 28, Terrance Careathers, 26, and a juvenile were shot early Saturday morning. Cross was killed.   Chattanooga Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of Roanoke Avenue.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police Officers located the single vehicle crash with two people suffering for apparent gunshot wounds. The driver, ... (click for more)

Longest-Serving County Official Knowles Is First In Line To Sign Up For New Term

Bill Knowles is one of the longest-serving officials in Hamilton County history, and he's not through yet. County clerk since 1974, he was the first in line on Friday morning to pick up his petition for re-election. Then he beat everyone back with the completed form. Mr. Knowles said, "I ran in 1974 on a campaign of ending the long tag lines. We put in a tag by mail system ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School Board Bullies

When the good people of Signal Mountain join with their loved ones to give thanks for many, many blessings on this hallowed Thursday, you can bet the Hamilton County Department of Education will be on nary a list. For the past year a diligent advisory committee has studied the feasibility of forming its own school district and exactly one week prior to Thanksgiving, the misguided ... (click for more)