Governor Haslam Signs Noah Dean and Nate Act

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 | 10:55am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today held a ceremonial signing of the Noah Dean and Nate Act, named in honor of Noah Winstead and Nate Lynam, two Morristown fifth-graders who were electrocuted on July 4, 2012 while swimming at a Tennessee marina. 

Sponsored by Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) and Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), the legislation is aimed at preventing electric shock drowning at Tennessee boat docks and marinas.

“This legislation creates infrastructure to better protect public safety in and around marinas,” Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak said. “We are looking forward to working with professionals from across the state to keep our marinas safe for all.”

Specifically, the legislation outlines requirements for the installation of ground fault circuit interrupters in and around boat docks and marinas, authorizes the State Fire Marshal’s Office to conduct safety inspections of boat docks and marinas to ensure compliance with applicable codes, and requires marinas to post safety signage notifying individuals of the potential for electric shock if swimming within 100 yards of the boat dock. 

“This is a tremendous public safety bill that will help prevent serious electric shock injuries and drowning deaths in Tennessee,” Sen. Southerland said.  “No parent should have to suffer this kind of tragedy.  I applaud the courage of the parents of Noah Dean and Nate in working toward passage of this legislation.” 

“The Noah Dean and Nate Act is a big step forward for safety in and around Tennessee's lakes and waterways,” Rep. Goins said.  “Our citizens, as well as tourists who come to Tennessee to enjoy the recreation these lakes offer, need to know that their safety is our utmost priority.”

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