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.



MGHC To Hold Rain Barrel Class Saturday

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, hold their Rain Barrel Class this Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon. MGHC classes take place at the UT Extension, Agricultural Service Center, 6183 Adamson Circle, located off Bonny Oaks Drive. The cost is $40 per person (payable to UT-TSU Extension) and includes the barrel, plus the ... (click for more)

Free Hikes At All Tennessee State Parks On June 2 For National Trails Day

Tennessee State Parks will celebrate National Trails Day and kick off Great Outdoors Month with free, guided hikes at all 56 parks on Saturday, June 2. The variety of events includes ranger-led day hikes, night hikes, history hikes, nature hikes and trail clean-up hikes. With more than 1,000 miles to explore, ranging from easy, paved trails to rugged backcountry trails to ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Donaldson Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Killing Of Son-In-Law

A Criminal Court jury late Friday afternoon returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder against Glen Donaldson in the killing of his son-in-law, Adam Levi. He is facing 15-60 years in state prison. Judge Don Poole will set the sentence at a sentencing hearing on July 12.  He has been free on bond, but was taken into custody after the verdict. The jury deliberated ... (click for more)

1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13; Town To Choose Either Tennessee American Or Waldens Ridge For Water Service

The next steps in rezoning 617 Cauthen Way were discussed at the Signal Mountain work session Friday afternoon. Since the last council meeting, Town Manager Boyd Veal created a list of conditions to include in the zoning ordinance relating to the proposed commercial development designed to assure that there is no negative impact to the surrounding properties or to the interest of ... (click for more)

Speaking Of A Cove

Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,   I live in  a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too. My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us. One member of the group that listened to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Today’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies is the most technical savvy, advanced, software-enhanced, and modern-day genius that I have ever delivered. I can sum it up in just one sentence: I am using a new H-P Pavilion that is the newest seventh-generation Intel Core computer and, if you want to see “real funny,” go get a new computer and try switching over your tech ... (click for more)