Have you ever found yourself concerned about the lack of signs and safety precautions regarding the dangers of electrical currents near boat docks at marinas? This recently became a concern for our state government as well.
Last year, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill intended to provide for better safety in and around state marinas. After the unfortunate death of two young boys at a marina in Cherokee Lake, Tennessee, representatives put forth and passed a bill to keep our lakes and waterways safer. The bill is specifically aimed at preventing other accidents caused by electricity.
In short, the bill requires that marinas operating within the state post clearly marked signs warning patrons of the risk of electric shock near the docks. They must also have their equipment inspected on a yearly basis. Furthermore, as stated in the bill, marinas must ensure that any “main overcurrent protective device that feeds the marina must have a ground-fault protection not exceeding 100 milliamperes.”
You can read the full legislation on the Tennessee General Assembly website.
The new law was made effective the first of this year (January 1, 2015) and before April all state marinas must make the changes, post the necessary signs, and have an inspection which will then be repeated each year.
Do you use marinas for your boating excursions during the summertime? It is important to know the expectations of the business owner as well as your legal rights if you are the victim of an accident related to their electrical equipment. Please be sure to follow any safety warnings posted by the marina.
If you do have more questions about your safety at a Tennessee marina or are concerned about an injury you have sustained due to unsafe electrical conditions, contact one of Gilreath and Associates’ offices (Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis). We are experienced Tennessee boating accident attorneys and can help you learn more about your rights in and around our state’s waterways.