This year’s Karl Martin Water Safety Award was presented to Tom Merriman at the Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council meeting earlier this month. The award recognizes a person or group that has had a significant impact on the continuing effort to improve safe boating on Smith Mountain Lake.
Merriman has long been advocating for and on behalf of boaters and boating safety issues. He has actively worked as a member of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council for the last 18 years and was appointed to the Water Safety Task Force when it was formed in 2005. He was tasked with developing the educational submission that was integral to the Virginia Mandatory Boater Education requirement and subsequent legislation that’s in effect today.
Merriman also developed the beacons used to mark the July 4th fireworks no-wake zone, he authors numerous articles for lake area media, he coordinates and enlists the resources of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to support the SML Water Safety Council projects and initiatives.