East Tennessee marinas start safety improvements ahead of new la

East Tennessee marinas start safety improvements ahead of new law

Posted:
The "Noah Dean and Nate Act" requires warning signs, state inspections and, in new construction, devices to cut off the power automatically. The "Noah Dean and Nate Act" requires warning signs, state inspections and, in new construction, devices to cut off the power automatically.
The new signs are going up at Louisville Landing Marina. The new signs are going up at Louisville Landing Marina.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

LOUISVILLE (WATE) - Safety at local marinas should be improving thanks to a new law named for two little boys who were electrocuted in the water near their houseboat.

Previous story: Second boy dies after Grainger County marina electrical accident

The "Noah Dean and Nate Act" requires warning signs, state inspections and, in new construction, devices to cut off the power automatically.

We spoke to Noah's mother in April after the bill passed the state house and senate.

Previous story: Mom behind Noah Dean and Nate bill hopes for change

The new signs are going up at Louisville Landing Marina.

"Every time they walk through one of these gates, it's right there in red letters. No swimming, electrical shock," said harbormaster Mike Fenton.

They're ahead of the curve. Those warning signs have to be up at all Tennessee marinas by Jan. 1, 2015. Ground fault protection must be included on equipment installed or replaced after April 1, 2015. A state fire marshal inspection must be done by Dec. 31, 2017 and then every five years.

"Everything is hindsight. We don't look at something very well until its too late. This probably should have been done a long time ago," Fenton said.

The new signs cost more than $1,000. Fenton says ground fault circuit interrupters would cost many times that amount.

"We would take every electrical panel out and add gif breakers into them. In essence, it would be like going into your house and replacing all your breakers, on a much bigger scale," Fenton said.

Even though it's not required for existing marinas, Fenton says he would consider the upgrade.

"If it keeps places of recreation safer, it's for the good of all of us," said boater Cathy Taylor. "Compliance is going to be, that's the catalyst. If everybody is compliant, the program will be successful."
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