Arlington, VA – The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) commends the Tennessee General Assembly for enacting the 'Noah Dean and Nate' marina safety law, which protects state residents from electric shock injuries and drowning deaths near marinas and boat docks. Sponsored by State Senator Steve Southerland State Representative Tilman Goins, the legislation received unanimous approval in both the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam.
Introduced as the "Noah Dean and Nate Act" in January 2014, the legislation 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 at a marina near Morristown, Tenn. Jessica Winstead, Noah Dean’s mother, made the legislation possible as a result of her tireless crusade to raise awareness about the risk of electric shock drowning.
An inspection after the incident determined that the marina lacked protection from Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), which protect against fatal shocks by shutting down electricity before it can leak into the water.
“We applaud both the Tennessee legislature for passing the "Noah Dean and Nate Act" and Jessica Winstead for her heroic efforts to make the legislation possible,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Hopefully this groundbreaking legislation will bring the topic of electrical shock drowning to the national stage and inspire other states to follow suit.”
Under the “Noah Dean and Nate” marina safety law, Tennessee marinas must install ground fault protection, post notices about the danger of electrical leakage into waters surrounding a marina, and undergo a safety inspection conducted by the state fire marshal between January 1, 2015, and every five years thereafter. The law will go into effect on April 1, 2015.
“No family should suffer the agony of preventable loss because dangers are ignored,” said Jessica Winstead. “The passing of this bill is a victory for the State of Tennessee, and will hopefully heighten awareness across the nation about the dangers of electric shock drowning.”
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated exclusively to promoting the importance of electrical safety. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities in the home, school, and workplace. Visit www.electrical-safety.org to learn more about ESFI and electrical safety.