Tennessee marinas are preparing for a new safety law going into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, named after two boys electrocuted while swimming near a dock in 2012. The Noah Dean and Nate Act requires clear warning signs of shock risks near docks, yearly inspections of equipment, and ground fault circuit protection.
A TV news report by WBIR in Knoxville covered one marina's response to the requirements of the law. The harbormaster is quoted, saying "There was no real structure and that's one thing the law has done. It has created structure." WBIR reported that at this time, the marina does not have ground fault protection. But under the new law, any electrical equipment installed or replaced at a marina on or after April 1, 2015 must include it.
"Until we expand our facility and have new construction really the only thing we're going to have to do, as far as the law is read, is replace our signage. We have signage right now but it's not exactly what it says in that text," the harbormaster said.
The marina works with an electrical contractor, on top of the yearly inspections to come. If a marina does not meet the requirements, WBIR said, there are several possible consequences including fees up to $50,000 and possible prison time. The new law applies only to public docks.