Safe Boat Operation

Propeller Intervention & Awareness

Propeller Intervention & Awareness

They may seem like a rare occurrence, but propeller incidents are responsible for 4 percent of all boating fatalities in the U.S., according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics. Propeller-related injury reports are increasing at an even higher rate.

Motor and propeller strikes are gruesome accidents which can cause serious injury or even death. Devastating injuries from such accidents commonly include loss of extremities, disfigurement, disability or severe permanent deformities. Widespread propeller strike scenarios are man-overboard and “circle of death” from the runaway vessel after an unexpected loss of the boat operator. Even propellers that are at rest or in neutral can cause injury because they have very sharp edges.

Any person who is in the water near a boat, including swimmers, downed skiers and divers, can fall victim to such accidents. In order to avoid a motor/propeller strike, boaters should:

·        Turn off the engine when passengers are boarding or exiting the vessel

·        Maintain a lookout for people in the water

·        Take action to prevent passengers from being thrown overboard.

Keep in mind that most propeller injuries occur on open motorboats that measure 16-25 feet long. Common factors include carelessness, inexperience and operator inattention.