Often I will get an email through my blog asking questions about Noah and what happened to him and his friend Nate. I post regularly on my Facebook what is going on with things in our life that I forget there is other people who stumble across my blog so I wanted to put an update about things going on. We've had a busy, busy spring to say the least.
To make a long story short it took me a long time to process what happened to Noah. Once that started sinking in I wanted to learn more especially when I realized this could have been prevented. I became a board member of Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association. This put us in touch with another parent who was working on a legislation in their state of West Virginia to help make marinas safer. Once I saw their bill signed into a law I immediately wanted to do something similar in Tennessee.
A lot of people think a wire was hanging in the water and that is what killed Noah and Nate but that is not actually the case. The boat the boys were swimming around was leaking too much electricity from improper wiring. The boat was plugged into the marina which had no grounding and that is one of the basic elements of electricity safety. So, in essence, the problem was with the boat and the responsibility fell to the marina. The marina should have had a GFCI (ground fault circuit interruptor) to shut off the flow of electricity once the level became too high. It didn't. The boat had numerous faults as well.
While it can be hard to educate every single boat owner about proper wiring we started with the marinas to make them safer across the state. Some marinas wanted to participate in this and actually install more safety measures. Some didn't. That is where the legislation became important.
We worked with TVA, TWRA, our local representatives and the Dept of Commerce and drafted a bill. Over a year of negotiations took place with all sides having to compromise. I even had the chance to go speak at the Senate in favor of our bill when I felt we were losing ground due to money.
After a year long effort, we passed the house and the senate. A copy of our bill, along with the votes and videos, can be found here.
Just recently we had our official governor signing of the Noah Dean and Nate Act. It was definitely a bittersweet day.
We hope our bill educates others who are avid lake lovers. It is still our desire to keep educating others about the do's and don't's of lake safety. Most importantly, we hope Noah's and Nate's testimony is shared. Their love of life, their love of family and friends and their childlike faith that secured their eternal future.
If you have any questions about ESD or any other related information please don't hesitate to contact me by clicking on my name on the home page.