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Proposed marina safety law named for boys electrocuted near boat dock

January 26th, 2014 4:35 pm by Jeff Bobo

Proposed marina safety law named for boys electrocuted near boat dock

A proposed law intended to eliminate electrocution at Tennessee marinas is named for two boys who were killed as a result of an electricity leak at the German Creek Marina near Bean Station on July 4, 2012: Nate Lynam (left) and Noah Winstead. (file photo

BEAN STATION — Two Tennessee lawmakers are hoping a proposed law intended to eliminate electrocution accidents at boat marinas will prevent future tragedies like the death of two Hamblen County boys in 2012.

On Jan. 17 attorney finalized an undisclosed settlement in favor of the plaintiffs in a $3 million lawsuit filed by the parents of two boys who were electrocuted while swimming at a Cherokee Lake marina near Bean Station on July 4, 2012.

Noah Winstead, the 10-year-old son of Todd and Jessica Winstead of Morristown, died on the afternoon of July 4, 2012, from the initial shock.

His 11-year-old friend, Nate Lynam, died the following day after being placed on life support at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

Rogersville attorney Mark Stapleton, who represented the Lynam family, said the settlement can never come close replacing the lost children, but it does give both families some closure.

“The families have some resolution, but in addition, hopefully the marine environment, at least in Tennessee, will be safer due to the proposed legislation which has been drafted as a result of this tragedy,” Stapleton said.

Tennessee House Bill 1892, also known as “The Noah Winstead/Nate Lynam Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Act”, was introduced last week by Rep. Tilman Goins, and Sen. Steve Southerland, both of Hamblen County. 

The bill would make it a misdemeanor crime if a marina fails to install ground fault protection, and a felony crime if failure to install causes death.

Read more in Monday's print edition of the Times-News, or in the expanded electronic edition.

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