Media coverage of 2007 recreational boat propeller accidents.
If you are aware of coverage of a 2007 propeller accident that is not reported here, please contact us.
Fatal accidents are coded immediately in front of the reporting data as:
D indicates the first coverage on this page of a U.S. fatality occurring this year
D indicates a fatality outside the U.S.
D indicates a U.S. fatality that occurred in another year
- 22 Dec 2007 Townsville Bulletin (Australia) “Slashed by a Propeller” reports a 67 year old man fell from his boat at Giru about 3:45 pm yesterday (21 Dec). “Lacerations to his elbow were so deep the bone was visible.” He was taken to Townsville Hospital by ambulance.
- D 15 Dec 2007 Stabroek News (Guyana) “Mazaruni River Businessman Dies After Boats Collide” reports Bobby John Rafferty of South Ruimveldt was on the Mazaruni River Wednesday night December 12th in an unlighted wooden boat with some passengers. A fiberglass boat from the Mazaruni Prisons collided with the wooden boat containing Mr. Rafferty about 8:40 pm. Four men from the wooden boat were pulled from the water and taken to Bartica Hospital. Among them was Mr. Rafferty who was pronounced dead on arrival. “He sustained injuries to his face and left hand, believed to have been caused by an engine propeller.
- 4 Dec 2007 Pioneer Press “Minnesota Gophers Basketball Player Emily Fox Talks” reports she has two scars on her lower rigth leg from when her dad ran over her with the propeller while water skiing this past summer. “I was behind the boat, and he forgot to put the boat in neutral. He felt so bad. I just slipped under the boat and the propeller cut me. I had 26 stitches. I got very lucky.”
- D 4 Dec 2007 Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand reporting from Fiji) “Fiji Boat Accident Kills Kiwi Bride” reports Rebecca Stockwell, age 27 of Blenheim New Zealand, was snorkeling with her husband on their honeymoon. She was previously Rebecca Crawley. About 10:30 am Friday November 30th they were snorkeling in Fiji off the island of Matamanoa, on the west coast of Viti Levu. She was stuck by the propeller of a passing boat, life flighted to a hospital in Lautoka, and died. Police report the boat operator said he did not see them.
A New Zealand Herald report of this same date says she was struck in the head by the propeller of a 6 foot aluminum boat powered by a 20 horsepower outboard and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
- D? Commercial Vessel – 1 Dec 2007 The Visayan Daily Star (Philippines) “Headless Man Hit by Oil Tanker” reports Wilfredo Loquinario of Bacalod City was fishing Tuesday night 27 November when his fishing boat was hit by an oil tanker. His headless body was found Wednesday off E.B. Magalona inside a fishing trap. Police said the body, already in an advanced state of decomposition, “may have been ravaged by the propeller of the oil tanker”.
- D 27 Nov 2007 The Standard (Hong Kong) “In the Spider’s ‘Web’ ” reports a decomposing body recovered from the sea last night (26 Nov) near Tung Lung Chau was thought to be a 22 year old many locals have been calling “Spiderman”. DNA tests will be performed on the headless body “with bruises and injuries thought to have been inflicted by a boat propeller.” He had jumped bail and was living on the side of a near sheer cliff ledge about 240 feet above the sea.
- D 26 Nov 2007 Herald Tribune (Florida) “Man Dies After Falling From Yacht in Gulf” reports Henry Ogden of Sarasota FL was thrown into the Gulf of Mexico from a 42 foot Cruisers Yacht on Sunday 25 November that was going though rough waters created by other vessels. The yacht went over him, its propeller struck his head, “causing a massive head injury”. Mr. Ogden was declared dead on shore. About eight people were on the yacht. The news report was filed from Anna Maria Island.
- 26 Nov 2007 The Western Australian (Australia) “Propeller Severs Man’s Artery in Second Mandurah Mishap” reports a man cut an artery on his boat’s propeller yesterday (25 Nov) and was rushed to a hospital in Mandurah. They think he was trying to free a rope. Last week a man was killed off Mandurah when a tow rope drug him into the propellers.
- D 22 Nov 2007 ABC Southwest WA (Australia) “Man Killed in Boating Accident” reports Neville Handreck from Mundaring was struck and killed by a propeller off Mandurah last night. He and another man were in a 13 meter twin propeller boat towing a boat lifter pontoon about 7:30pm to Dawesville. The rope broke and they were trying to tie it back on when he fell over the port side and was “trapped between the propellers”. His femoral artery was cut and he died shortly later.
- 15 Nov 07 The Crimson White (University of Alabama) “Men’s Wheelchair Basketball” reports on their wheel chair basketball team along with bios on several players, including 18 year old sophomore Blake Loftin from Mobile. At age 13 on July 5th (2002?) he was tubing on Fowl River just outside Dauphin Island when he was struck by the propeller of a passing boat. He was life flighted to a hospital and spent two months in intensive care and eight more months in the hospital. His body weight dropped from 165 pounds to 70 pounds. He lost his right leg below the knee in the hospital and earlier lost his left lung.
- D 2 Nov 2007 MyFox Houston “Body of Missing Man Found in Sabine River” reports Craig T. Phelps, age 27, was on the Sabine River on Friday 2 November with his three year old son. They were aiding in the search for an 18 year old young man who had been missing since his boat capsized earlier during the week. Authorities think that while Mr. Phelps was trying to crank start his boat, both he and his three year old son fell into the water. He was “slashed” by the propeller, but was able to save his son who was found floating in the boat. Mr. Phelps body was found using sonar and cadaver dogs. The search for the 18 year old is still ongoing.
Another report from KBMT12 indicates Mr Phelps was from Mauriceville and his body was found opposite the Sabine River Boat Ramp under Interstate 10. This report includes a video.
- 28 Oct 2007 “Man Rescued After Hit by Boat Propeller” South African Press Association (SAPA) reports the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) say they were recovering a life boat that had broken away from a ship in the Durban Port today (28 Oct) when they came upon a diver who had been “hit on the head by a boat’s propellers when surfacing from a scuba dive.” They think he was hit while diving off Coopers Lighthouse as part of a recreational dive charter. He was taken to port for medical assistance.
- 25 Oct 2007 “Father and Son Reunion a Classic Affair” Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) reports a long term update on a 1979 propeller accident in the Greek Islands involving a ten year old boy, Dimitri Ashkenazy, now an acclaimed clarinettist (musician). He is the son of Vladimir Ashkenanazy, a world famous pianist and conductor. In 1979 a boat turned to pickup a fallen skier and Dimitri fell in. His leg was sliced open almost from hip to heel. He recovered with the aid of an eight hour operation in Sydney by a pioneering microsurgeon. This weekend Dimitri will be returning to Sydney for a performance at the same time his father is in town to direct a symphony festival.
- 16 Oct 2007 Sun-Sentinel (South Florida) “Devotion Defined” Boca Raton Football Coach Giersbrook Has Been Loyal Since Mascot Days” reports early this season Boaco Raton High School football coach, Eddie Giersbrook, told the team about how he almost lost his leg at age 10 in a boating accident, but worked hard and became a kicker for the football team. Thanksgiving Weekend 1980 he was in a boat with a friends family on the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. The boat turned sharply and he fell in, “the propeller sliced into his skull and mangled his right leg.” He was in a coma two weeks with a 10 percent chance to live.
- 12 Oct 2007 Plano Star Courier “Plano Man Found Not Guilty” reports a jury found the boat operator who ran over Brittany Lindt back on 18 Aug 2006 not guilty of manslaughter. She bailed from tubing behind a jet ski after taking a large wake from his boat which was too close. She was struck in in the neck and chest and killed by his boat’s propeller. Much of the debate surrounded the amount of alcohol consumed by him before the accident.
- D 11 Oct 2007 Accident Date – COMMERCIAL ACCIDENT – 16 November 2009 Hampton Roads PilotOnline.com (Virginia) “Death in the Dark” reports 19 year old Seaman Freddie Porter Jr. was at watch on the bow of a RIB on the James River on the night of October 11 2007. They were going about 25 knots on a moonless night as part of a test run for those wanting to be coxswains in the Navy Seals. They saw a light they thought to be the distance, turned around at Jamestown and headed back to Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base (I had the opportunity to spend a few days on that base long ago, its full of vigor with all the activities of these young men). They drifted to the middle of Goose Channel, “a wall of steel appeared out of nowhere and plowed them over”. They were hit by a floatila of barges. Two of the three onboard survived. Porter’s body was found the next day. The tug propeller on the lead barge had “severed Porter’s right foot, then fractured his left leg and scraped his body a couple more times before plunging into his chest, severing his backbone.” It then struck the left side of his head.” The life jacket of one of the other men kept pulling him back under the barge. He was swept under the barge and could hear the propellers, no longer able to hold his breath he started taking in water, but he popped up and survived. This article reports on a trial that recently apportioned the responsibility for the accident between the Navy and the barges.
- 9 Oct 2007 The Times Herald (Michigan) “Propeller Injures Harrison Boater” reports a 50 year old unnamed man from Harrison Township was sitting on the side of his boat in the North Channel of the St. Clair River about 2pm Monday Oct 8th. He fell in after being pitched from the 11 foot inflatable boat by rough waves. While swimming back to the boat he was cut severely by its propeller. He “suffered injuries to his left arm and his head and lost a lot of blood”. He did manage to get in the boat and get to shore where he was taken to Clemens Regional Medical Center.
A 12 year old boy was struck in this same area one day earlier.
- 7 Oct 2007 The Times Herald (Michigan) “Officials: Boaters Didn’t Realize Boy Injured” reports a 12 year old boy was swimming with some friends in the St Clair River near the Port Huron Municipal Office Center about 3:15 today (Sunday 7 Oct). A boat passing by stopped because they thought the boys might need some help, then drove away seemingly without realizing one of the boys had cut his foot on their propeller while they checking on the boys. The 12 year old boy swam to shore and was taken by his mother to Mercy Hospital
- 7 Oct 2007 Pensacola News Journal (Florida) “Teen Hurt on Perdido River” reports a 16 year old male was riding in a boat with one adult and three more minors on Perdido River on Sunday 7 October. It hit a wave, began to rock and he was ejected, the others remained in the boat. He hit by the boat and by its propeller. “The propeller hit him on his back” per an Assistant Fire Chief. He was wearing a life jacket which appeared to have helped by absorbing some of the force of the propeller.
- D 5 Oct 2007 (POSSIBLE COMMERCIAL propeller accident) Mining Gazette (Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontaonagon County Michigan) “Canal Death Probed” reports the Keweenaw Star an excursion vessel was on the Portage Lake Shipping Canal Thursday evening October 4th when a 23 year old male passenger from Hancock fell over the bow. The call came into the Coast Guard Office at 8pm for a man overboard. A 25 foot boat, 18 foot boat and eventually a helicopter were sent to the search about 400 yards west of the Portage Lake Life Bridge. A Coast Guard representative said “they found what looked like human remains.” Those remains were taken to the Coast Guard boat, placed in bio bags and later identified as that of the victim by Portage Health. The County Sheriff said although the victim wen into the water at the front of the boat, if he got caught in the boat’s wake, he could have “quickly been carried back to the boat’s propeller.”
A follow up 7 Oct report in the same source names the victim as Jessie James Jaukkuri.
- 5 Oct 2007 Herald Tribune (Southwest Florida) “Punta Gorda Father Charged in Boating Accident” reports back on 29 April 2007 a man was cruising in the Harbor Heights area of Peace River with his son and three children. He ran into the wake of another boat, sharply turned his boat, he, his wife and their three year old son fell into the water. The boat continued to circle with two young children on board. During that time, the propeller hit the young boy in the water. He suffered a broken leg and injuries to his lower body. The young boy was flown to Tampa General Hospital. The father is now being charged with child neglect and was previously arrested for boating under the influence.
- 5 Oct 2007 Fresno Bee (California) “Not Guilty Pleas Entered in 2006 Shaver Lake Boat Crash” reports a legal update on a Labor Day Weekend 2006 crash on Shaver Lake in which an 8 year old boy (Dallen McEntire) was knee boarding and struck by the propeller of a hit and run boat. The young boy suffered major head injuries from the propeller and has since undergone several surgeries. The two men in the boat that allegedly ran were identified August 22, 2007 after a methodical investigation. Attorneys for both men recently entered not guilty pleas in their behalf. A preliminary hearing was set for December 10th.
- 3 Oct 2007 NBC6.Net South Florida “Man Saves Fellow Boater From Drowning After Accident” reports two men were in a boat near Ocean Reef Club off the coast of Key Largo on Saturday 29 Sept. The boat crashed and began to circle around the men who had been on board. One had a life jacket on and the other (N. Martinez age 62) had been struck by the propeller and “was barely hanging on to life.” Two other men came along and rescued them. Martinez was under the water and they were confident he was dead. They managed to get him in the boat and found out he was alive. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
- 27 Sep 2007 Midland Daily News (Michigan) “Man’s Leg Severed in Boating Accident” reports from Sage Township that M. Doty, a 33 year old man from Grand Ledge, was operating a boat on Gladwin County’s Pratt Lake very early this morning (27 Sept) and according to passengers, he jumped out while the boat was moving. “Part of Doty’s right leg was severed below the knee and he received several large cuts on his left leg from the engine propeller”. The accident was reported at 1:51 am and he was taken to MidMichigan Medical Center in Gladwin, then transferred to St. Mary’s of Michigan Medical Center.
- 24 Sep 2007 Bayshore Broadcasting (Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada) “Boating Mishap in Wiarton” reports A 62 year old man started his outboard Saturday 22 Sept in Colpoy’s Bay. The boat jerked forward and he was thrown into the water, the boat then swung around “with the propeller cutting the man’s foot.” He was able to stop the engine, paddle the boat to shore, and was taken to Wiarton Hospital.
- D Commercial Vessel 21 Sep 2007 Daily Press (Virginia) “Mechanical Problem on Boat Led to Waterman’s Death” reports David “Doodles” Luckett Sr., age 64 of Williamburg, had gone out with his son Tuesday morning 18 Sept on the James River to harvest oysters. His son checked on him about 9:30am and found his empty boat going in circles. His body was spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter a couple hours later. A Virginia Marine Resources Commission said Mr. Luckett appeared to have been thrown from his skiff due a to a steering system malfunction, and was then “struck by the boat’s propeller and died as a result of the trauma.”
- 20 Sep 2007 Marin Independent Journal (California) “Propeller Attack Suspect Avoids Prison Sentence” reports a man from Sausalito was sentenced to “time served” for an incident back in May in which he caught a ride to shore from a yacht on Richardson bay. A new acquaintance was taking him to shore in a small boat when he took the controls, pushed his new acquaintance into the water, then circled and tried to hit him with the propeller.
- 17 Sep 2007 The Chipley Bugle (Chipley FL) FWC Weekly Report indicates they (Florida Wildlife Commission) responded to a late night accident on 9? September in Bay County in which a vessel collided with a navigational aid, a person was ejected from the vessel during the collision and struck by the propeller. The person was taken to a hospital “with a severe cut to his buttocks”. The boat operator was charged with violation of a navigational rule and booked in jail for an outstanding warrant from the State of Wyoming.
- 17 Sep 2007 Herald Sun (Australia) “Teen Struck in Head by Boat Propeller” reports three males including a 17 year old teenage boy from Kanimbla were in a dinghy on the Gold Coast at a canal off Huon Street at Broadbeach Waters about 4 pm Sept 16th. It is believed they all stood up to “moon” a group at a residence on the waterfront, the boat became unstable, and they all three fell overboard. The engine was still running and the 17 year old boy was struck in the face by the propeller. He was taken to Gold Coast Hospital.
Other reports indicate the teenager was struck after the driverless boat “looped around”.
- D? Commercial Vessel strikes Recreational Boat 6 Sep 2007 Toledo Blade (Ohio) “Coast Guard Suspends Search for 2 Fishermen in Lake Erie” reports two brothers, Dan Crowner age 44 and Christopher Crowner age 46, both of Wayne County Ohio, along with Cass Momchilov age 46 were on an overnight fishing trip on Lake Erie. About 4pm Monday Sept. 3rd, the crew of the Cleveland Rocks, a 505 foot tug/barge, told the Coast Guard Lorain that debris was found between lodged between the tug and barge. Mr. Momchilov’s body was found Tuesday Sept 4th. Authorities earlier surmised he “probably died of a laceration to his abdomen, apparently from the tug.” However, an Erie County Coroner said the actual cause of death was drowning. The search for the remaining two men was suspended at 4:15pm Wednesday Sept 5th.
- 4 Sep 2007 Tulsa World (Oklahoma) “Newkirk Man Injured After Boating Accident” reports C. L. Rowe, a 46 year old man from Newkirk Oklahoma, was operating a 2006 Bass Tracker boat in Kaw Lake 3 miles north of Kaw Dam in Osage County on Labor Day (Monday 3 Sept) afternoon. He was “attempting to spin the vessel by turning its steering wheel sharply when he was ejected.” The boat went over him, he was struck by the propeller, and taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita Kansas. Mr. Rowe is in serious condition with “head, arm and leg injuries.” His brother was also in the boat at the time of the accident.
Other reports indicate the accident took place about 6:45 pm and he was Life Flighted to the hospital in Wichita.
- 4 Sep 2007 Daytona Beach News Journal (Florida) “Woman Suffers Severe Cuts From Boat Propeller” reports a woman in her early 20’s was in a 20 foot powerboat with some friends headed to Disappearing Island near Ponce de Leon Inlet. One of the four people in the boat was backing the boat into a spot on the island. The young woman “jumped into the water and got caught in the propeller.” She “suffered four pretty severe lacerations to her lower calf and ankle.” Others on board applied a rope as a tourniquet until help arrived. She was first aided by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials who were in the area, and also assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard. She was then taken to Lighthouse Boatyard and Marina in Ponce Inlet, then to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. her injuries did not appear life threatening per a Coast Guard spokesman.
- 4 Sep 2007 NWA News (Northwest Arkansas) “Weekend Filled With Lake Mishaps” reports from Beaver Lake of a very busy lake over the Labor Day Weekend that was “riddled with accidents on various parts of Beaver Lake” including one in the Clifty area. A female riding an inner tube was ran over by the boat pulling the tube and struck by its propeller during a wide turn. “She was cut up pretty bad with the boat propeller” per a Park Ranger. The boat operator fled the scene.
- 4 Sep 2007 SignOnSanDiego.com “Israeli Killed As Diver Boat Sinks of Thai Island” reports from Bangkok Thailand on a diving boat, the Dream Catcher, carrying about 60 foreign divers (mostly Israelis and South Koreans) coming back from Phi Phi Island in the Andaman Sea. While making a turn about a mile off Phi Phi Island, water flowed in and the boat sank. One person was killed and two were injured. One of the injured was man with propeller cuts on both legs.
A 4 Sept report in the Phuket Gazette (Thailand) identifies the injured man as A. Berbichevski, a 23 year old Israeli man. It also reports the injury occurred about 11 am. He was taken to Phi Phi Hospital then transferred by speed boat to Bangkok Phuket Hospital but did not arrive till about 3 pm due to weather conditions. The boat that sank was the “Jor Kingfisher” or “King Fisher”.
- 04 Sep 2007 Star-Telegram (Texas) “Near Fatal Accident Can’t Keep Her Down” reports an update from Arlington Texas on Tess Taylor, now 14, who had her left leg nearly severed by a propeller on 30 aug 2003 on the Brazos River near Lake Granbury. She had been wakeboarding with friends when a boat came toward her. She was struck by the propeller and not expected to life through her first surgery. After a long recovery, she is now playing on her freshman volleyball team.
- D 3 Sep 2007 The Ledger (Lakeland FL) “Two Die in Separate Snorkeling Accidents” reports Omar J. Viera, a 31 year old man from Orlando, was snorkeling off a boat in the Atlantic Ocean near Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys on Saturday Sept 1st. The operator of a 25 foot boat did not see his flag in time, tried to veer away at the last minute, and felt a thump underneath his boat. Mr. Viera “suffered two severe propeller wounds to his head”, was taken to shore and died. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman said the diving flag was too small and not visible by 360 degrees.
- 3 Sep 2007 WKRN (Nashville TN – News 2) “12-Year-Old Injured in Percy Priest Lake Boating Accident” reports E. Kellett, a 12 year old boy, at Hamilton Creek recreation area on Percy Priest Lake on Sunday Sept 2nd. He was on a pontoon boat with his 15 year old brother, an uncle and a friend. He fell out an open door “severely cutting his leg on the boat’s propeller.”
- August 2007 Accident Date – 17 March 2009 Gold Coast (Australia) reports a race driver pleaded guilty yesterday in Southport Magistrates Court to unsafe operation of a 50 HP inflatable thundercat in August 2007. He failed to slow down during a black flag safety alert, his boat crashed into a competitors boat, the other driver’s arm was sliced with his propeller. He also ignored recommendations for all racing boats in the race to be using propeller guards. He was fined $6,000 Australian dollars and his boat license was suspended for six months.
- D 29 Aug 2007 Canoe.Ca (Canada) “Fatal Boating Accident Near Nestor Falls”reports A family of five from the United States was on Twin Bay in Lake of the Woods on Tuesday evening 28 August. They had two 17 foot boats, had been fishing, and were headed back to a resort at Nestors Falls. The driver of the front boat momentarily lost control and a passenger, James Smith age 61 from New Port KY, was pitched into the water and “struck by the propeller of the boat he was traveling in and died on the scene.”
- D?28 Aug 2007 Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) “Friends Recall 54-Year-Old Roofer Killed in Boat Crash” reports an investigation is ongoing near Little Egg Inlet into the death of J. Cohen, age 54 of Absecon. He was fishing alone on a 19 foot SeaCraft about noon Sunday when it collided with Faith II, a 34 foot Ocean Master Cabin Cruiser with 7 on board. The larger boat hit the smaller boat on the starboard side and exited through the port gunwale, and Mr. Cohen was ejected. The owner of a nearby marina reported at least twenty other boats were in the area at the time of the collision and “The boat hit him so hard, it’s hard to say if the boat hit him or the propeller hit him.”
Other reports describe the accident location as Beach Haven Inlet off Long Beach Island. As with some other recent accidents, Sea Tow was quickly on the scene and aided in the attempted rescue of Mr Cohen and searched for other possible passengers of his vessel.
- 26 Aug 2007 The Daily Reporter (Coldwatreports M.M. Taylor, a 27 year old man from Toldeo Ohio, was on Hemlock Lake in Hillsdale County about 1:30 am Saturday 25 August about 300 feet from shore. He was trying to climb from the water into the starboard side of the boat when the operator put it into reverse to keep it from floating away. Mr. Taylor’s feet were then struck by the propeller. He went to the Hillsdale Community Health Center and was transferred to St. Vincent’s Hospital. The county sheriff’s office reports six people were on the boat.
- D 26 Aug 2007 Providence Journal (Rhode Island) “Boater Dies off Portsmouth” reports Just before 5pm Saturday 25 August, a 22 year old man from Fall River was reported as being in the water off Portsmouth near Dyer Island. “According to police, he was alive when he fell into the water, but was quickly struck by something – police would not say if it was the propeller, the boat, or another object – and was killed.” Four people were on the boat.
A 27 Aug 2007 Providence Journal report indicates the man, Matthew Comeau age 22, was on a 17 foot powerboat, fell from it after being rocked by the wake of another boat, and “was hit by the boat’s propeller.”
A still later 27 August report from AP indicates he was struck when the boat turned around to retrieve him from the water.
- 26 Aug 2007 Daily News (Los Angeles California) “Deputies on Guard at Pyramid Lake” reports from Santa Clarita on preparations at Pyramid Lake from the upcoming Labor Day Weekend by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Office to reduce boating injuries and accidents. It goes on to report an August 20th accident in which a 15 year old on a PWC was involved in a collision with a boat. He was life flighted to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The teenager remains in critical condition from suffering a head injury “and propeller cuts on his back.”
- 25 Aug 2007 10News KGTV (San Diego CA) “Jet Ski Accident Leaves One Injured” reports there have been a higher number of injuries this year than normal in the area. The waters and beach have been crowded, “including boaters who do not know how to use their craft safely.” “Mission Bay has had three propeller injuries this year, including a fatality at Campland.”
- 25 Aug 2007 Fresno Bee (California) “Two to Be Arraigned In Boating Collision” reports a 35 year old man from Lake Elsinore and a 35 year old man from Los Angeles have been arrested in Fresno County for a Sept. 2nd 2006 boating accident in which an eight year old boy, D. McEntire was kneeboarding behind a PWC operated by his father. The young boy was ran over by a yellow and white boat that did not stop. He suffered major head injuries and was taken to Children’s Hospital Central California and placed in a medically induced coma. Now a year later he is home still trying to recover. The Sheriff’s Department investigation resulted in the arrests on Tuesday. The two men will be arraigned on Sept. 7th in Fresno County Court.
- D 23 Aug 2007 South China Morning Post (China) “Boat Driver Who Killed Swimmer Avoids Jail” reports Lau Wah-fai, 66, was killed last year when he was struck by a speedboat propeller on 19 August 2006 in Clear Water Bay. The boater who hit him was convicted of endangering others at sea, but acquitted for not having a lookout, fined HK$500 and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.
- 22 Aug 2007 The Lincoln County News (Maine) “Former Bristol Chief, Dresden Fire and Rescue Honored at LCFCA Meeting” reports on a an award presentation to Dresden Fire and Rescue Chief Steve Lilly for his response to a 29 July 2006 (yes 2006 a year ago) call from Kennebec River where a large man (approx 480 pounds) had apparently come in contact with the boat’s propeller sustaining serious injuries to his face, chest, legs and stomach as well as “severe trauma” to both arms. As the Dept had no boat, he obtained one, secured the man with floatation devices, called for more help, the crew strapped him to a backboard, cleared about 1500 feet of trees and brush to create an emergency access road, then a truck picked up the victim and took him to the hospital. The victim lost an arm as a result of the accident.
- 21 Aug 2007 Gainsville Times (Georgia) “Uncle Pushed His Nephew From Under Boat, Lost Leg” reports J. Darby, a 33 year old man from Gwinnett County, was teaching his nephew how to waterski Monday 20 August on Lake Lanier. The ski rope became tangled in the ladder, Mr. Darby was trying to get the rope away because his nephew was being pulled under the boat, finally he pushed his nephew to the other side of the boat, but in doing so, he cut his own legs on the propeller. His left leg was amputated 10 inches below his knee, his right calf and heel were also sliced. The injured man’s older sister pulled him on shore at Holly Park and Life Flighted to Atlanta Medical Center.
- D 15 August 2007 KX News (South Dakota) reports from Yankton SD that Brian Nielsen of Yankton had been missing since Saturday 11 August when his empty boat was seen circling in Lewis and Clark Lake. It eventually rammed the rocks at Gavin’s Point Dam. His body was recovered yesterday (14 Aug) with a severe injury to his arm. A local sheriff says “Neilsen’s right arm had injuries that appeared to have been caused by a boat propeller.”
Other reports indicate the empty boat circling was reported about 4:55 pm Saturday and his body was spotted from an airplane in the middle of the lake about 8:30 am Tuesday 14 August
- 12 Aug 2007 Toledo Blade “Newport, MIchiga, Man Struck by Boat Propeller” reports a man thought to be in his mid 30’s was swimming at the end of the Ottawa River in Michigan waters when he was ran over by a boat and struck by its propeller. He was taken to a Jockett’s Marina and flown to University of Toledo Medical Center (formerly Medical College of Ohio Hospital).
- 11 Aug 2007 St. Cloud Times “Update: Sartell Teen in Serious Condition After Tubing Accident” reports E.M. Void, an 18 year old girl from Sartell, and N.L. Dircks a 16 year old young man from Sartell, were tubing behind a boat in Middle Spunk Lake in Avon Township just before 6:30pm on Friday 10 August. They were both hit by the boat towing them. N.L. Dircks was hit by the propeller and “has numerous cuts on his back.” He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital, treated and released. E.M Void (the young woman) was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with a serious arm injury. The report does not specifically indicate the young woman was injured by the propeller.
Note – a 27 Sept 2007 article in the same source says the propeller severed her left arm just below the elbow.
- 2D 11 August 2007 Accident Date – 12 August 2008 Boston Herald “Nurse: Boater Wanted to Switch Blood Samples” reports an update from Portland Maine on a trial in Cumberland County Superior Court regarding propeller accident that occurred one year ago. A Massachusetts man told wardens he had hit something on Long Lake at Harrison Maine on the night of August 10, 2007 after his 32 foot high performance boat crashed on shore. Suzanne Groetzinger, a 44 year old female from Berwick, was “killed instantly when a boat propeller struck her and nearly decapitated her”. Terry Raye Trott, 55 of Harrison, “suffered gruesom propeller cuts and died from a combination of injuries and drowning.”
Other reports indicate the two deceased were in a 14 Glasspar foot boat when it was ran over by the 32 foot Sunsation Dominator powered by twin 435 hp engines.
- 8 Aug 2007 Cornish Guardian (U.K.) “Busy Season Starts as Lifeboat Crew is Called on Eight Times” reports The RNI volunteer lifeboat crews at Fowey have responded to eight rescue calls over the past two weeks. In one of those calls, “the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat were both called out to Lantic Bay, following a report of a woman who had sustained a deep cut to her leg from a boat propeller.”
- 7 August 2007 DailyInterLake.com (Montana) “Trial by Water” reports an update on the 10 year old girl who rescued her mother, a propeller strike victim, in Flathead River on July 12th. The boat was circling wildly and she was the only one onboard. The young girl was able to stop the boat, restart it, and drive to where her mother and another passenger were floating. She also called on others nearby to help and to call 911. Now three weeks later, her mother is scheduled for another surgery. The young girl said she was not pitched out with the others because she was already scared (her first time on a boat) and was gripping the underside of her seat. It includes a nice photo of the girl and her mother.
- D 6 Aug 2007 Pensacola News Journal “Prop Killed Boat Pilot” reports Christopher Wilcox, 28 of Alabama, was boating in the Perdido River on Sunday 5 August. He was operating the boat and had his three year old daughter on his lap. He swerved right to avoid a Personal Watercraft, his seat broke, he and his daughter went over the left side, she was wearing a vest, he was not. Two other people were in the boat, one jumped in and saved the young girl. Christopher Wilcox was struck and killed by the propeller. Divers found his body about 9:50pm Sunday.
- 5 Aug 2007 Seattle Times (Washington) “Man Cut by Propeller at Seafair” reports a 22 year old man from Bellevue was participating in the events surrounding Seafair on Lake Washington about 4 pm. He dove from a boat that was tied to a log boom south of Interstate 90 to get a football, surfaced near the propeller, and received severe injuries to his leg. He was hospitalized at Overlake Hosptial Medical Center “with critical injuries”
- 5 August 2007 News Leader (Missouri) reports G. Hamrick, a 7 year old boy from Denver CO, was swimming behind an anchored Cobalt runabout boat on Lake of the Ozarks near Sunrise Beach today. The boy was unable to explain how he cut himself, but a Missouri Water Patrol report said he was hit by a propeller.
Missouri State Water Patrol News Release #N07070141 reports the accident happened at the 16 mile marker near Sunrise Beach. The cut was on his left knee and he was taken to Lake Regional Hospital.
- D 5 Aug 2007 SignOnSanDiego.com (San Diego California) “Man in Water is Killed by Propeller of Friend’s Boat” reports Paul Bernard, age 40 of Lake Forest, was on Mission bay about 5:30pm Saturday 4 August at the Campland Dock. He was standing on the dock or the boat’s swim step and fell into the water. To avoid hitting another boat, the driver of the first boat shift shifted into reverse, the propeller struck him and he was killed.
Other reports indicate he was 41, and had been untying a rope at the time he fell in. Harbor Police said they did not believe alcohol was a factor. The boat he fell from that shortly later hit him was about a 20 ft Bayliner
5 Aug 2007 OCRegister also has a more detailed report of the accident.
- D 4 Aug 2007 Asbury Park Press “Boater Killed in Accident on Bay Was a Tuckerton Man” reports William Flore, 52 of Tuckerton NJ, was in a 16 foot Glastron on Thursday 2 August near the southern bayside tip on Long Beach Island NJ about 6:15pm. He was apparently ejected from his boat, it began to circle, he was badly cut by what investigators believe was the propeller, and died. A nearby boater send out a marine radio distress call. Sea Tow responded and found his boat run aground off the Holgate section of the township.
- D 2 Aug 2007 ABC 13 (Western North Carolina) “Camp Counselor Dies After Being Struck by Boat” reports an AP news report that Timothy Allison, age 20 from Troy Ohio and a counselor at a Camp Pinewood in Henderson NC, was swimming in Lake Bowen with some teenager campers on Wednesday 1 August. He became separated from the group and was ran over by a ski boat whose operator said he didn’t see him till it was too late. Timothy Allison was struck by the ski boat’s propeller, “suffered head injuries and died almost instantly.”
A Go Upstate report indicates the accident happened about 4:15pm, the man driving the ski boat was a lifeguard and jumped in to help, but it was to late. A 15 year old camper who witnessed the accident was taken to the hospital and treated for mental trauma. It also points out the ski boat was with the camping group and was carrying some more campers. They also have a nice photo of the red MasterCraft ski boat involved in the accident. The article mentions a similar ski boat propeller accident on the lake in June 2002 which killed Clayton Reed Spencer. A 24 May 2006 report in GoUpstate indicates the Spencer family went on to dedicate a park (Anchor Park) in his memory on what would have been his 13th birthday and to kickoff a fundraising campaign for the Spartanburg Children Shelter to be named Anchor house in his memory on what would have been his 16th birthday.
WYFF4 filed a video report on the recent accident.
- MOTOR STRIKE – 2 Aug 2007 Lake Country Reporter (Wisconsin) “Town of Summit- A 54 Year-Old Waukesha Man’s Swim in Lower Nashotah Lake Was Cut Short Monday Evening With an Emergency Trip to Froedtert Hospital via a Flight for Life” reports About 8:20pm July 30th, police arrived at a residence on Interlaken Drive on a report of a swimmer being struck by a ski boat. They found him on a pontoon boat with injuries to his head and side “as a result of being struck by the motor.” “Police do NOT think the propeller struck the man.”
- 2 Aug 2007 Post Star (Glens Falls NY) “Officials: Log Bay Day Quieter Than Last Year” reports the annual party day on Lake George near Shelving Rock only resulted in about 70 people being arrested and/or ticketed. At least three people needed medical attention, including “one person who suffered an arm injury from a boat propeller”.
A 31 July 2007 report in the Post Star says a propeller accident occurred Tuesday morning 31 July, about 11:35 am near Windy Point on Lake George (probably the accident mentioned above?). Two men were test driving a wooden boat, they lost control or hit a wave, were both pitched in, the boat began to circle, a third man passing by tried to board the circling boat, lost his grip, and was struck by its propeller.
- 31 July 2007 Newswatch50 WWTI (Watertown New York) “Ogdensburg Man Injured in Boating Accident” reports K.L. Wood, a 52 year old man from Ogdensburg on Route 812, was boating on the St. Lawrence River Sunday evening 29 July. “He fell into the water and was struck in the thighs by the propeller blades, causing deep gashes.” Mr Wood was taken to Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.
- 31 July Chipley Bugle (Florida) FWC Weekly Report (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Report for the NorthWest Region) reports “On July 25, Officer John Bell responded to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola to interview an 11 year old female who was injured in a vessel accident. About 12 p.m., the victim and two other children were riding on the front of the pontoon vessel, forward of the enclosed portion, when the vessel operator hit a wave and the victim was ejected. The vessel ran over the victim and she sustained propeller cuts. The accident is under investigation and charges are pending.”
- 29 July 2007 News Leader (Missouri) “Jefferson City Man Injured by Boat Propeller” reports T. Ruettgers had launched a Ranger bass boat Sunday 29 July, but forgot to put in the drain plug. He took the boat back to the ramp and jumped off to install the plug while the engine was still running. He thought he had put it in neutral, but the prop was still turning. “His leg was hit by the prop.” He was taken to St. Mary’s hospital in Jefferson City.
Missouri State Water Patrol Press Release N070130 reports the accident happened on the Osage River at the Mari OSA Delta Conservation Ramp.
- 29 July 2007 9news.com (Denver Colorado) “Tuber Injured After Swimming Over Boat Propeller” reports from Arapahoe County that about 1:30 pm a tuber at Cherry Creek State Park “cut his leg in two places Sunday (29th) after swimming over the propeller of his friend’s boat”. He was taken to Medical Center of Aurora South Campus and was described as a man (not a youth).
- 29 July COMMERCIAL VESSEL hits swimmer – myTellus.com (viz Canadian Press) (CANADA) “Quebec Police Search for Body of Swimmer Sucked into Propeller of Cargo Ship” reports from Beauharnois Quebec that a 53 year old woman was swimming in a lake southwest of Montreal when she was “pulled in by the propeller of a cargo ship entering the nearby locks.” Other reports indicate swimming is permitted in the area.
- 26 July 2007 Commonwealth Journal (Somerset Kentucky) “Ohio Woman Critical After Boating Accident” reports L. Terry, a woman from Kettering Ohio, was on a 27 foot pontoon boat in Lake Cumberland the evening of Saturday 21 July. She was checking the boat’s malfunctioning navigational lights, fell in, “and was cut by the blades of a propeller.” A helicopter landed at General Burnside Island State Park to pick her up about 9:15 pm after she had been take to the marina. She was life flighted to University of Kentucky Medical Center. The woman is still in critical condition (now four days later). Investigators report problems in gaining cooperation from those involved.
A big thanks to one of our readers for pointing out this accident to us.
- D 23 July 2007 NBC11 (San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland CA) “Man Dies After Being Hit by Propeller in Delta” reports Three people were in a boat on the Contra Costa County Delta near Bethel’s Sandmound Slough, about 1.5 miles east of Lundburg Landing Marina on Sunday 22 July about 3:45pm. From a yet to be determined reason, all three were ejected into the water. Two managed to get back into the boat, the third, a man, “sustained massive injuries to the head and torso caused by a boat propeller.” The driver of the boat suffered minor injuries, the other survivor was taken to a hospital for “non-life threatening injuries.”
Other reports identify the deceased man as Matthew Haworth, age 40 of Bethel Island, report that he hit the side of the boat before he struck the propeller and was pronounced dead at the scene. The person remaining hospitalized, is identified as a woman. The boat operator has since come forward in the press and said the boat jumped a wake and when it came down it had no steering, and immediately ejected the three passengers and a dog. Mr Hawrorth was killed trying to shove the boat operator’s wife out of the way of the propeller.
- 23 July 2007 Deleware Online from the Vineland New Jersey Daily Journal “Pa. Man Critical After Boating Accident in Delaware Bay” reports J.M. McGarrigle, age 37 of Meshoppen PA, was alone in a 12 foot boat powered by a 15 HP outboard in Delaware Bay near Sea Breeze NJ about 5:20pm Saturday 21 July. He fell from the boat and it began to circle. He tried to get back into the circling boat and was struck by the propeller. He “suffered injuries to his jaw and left armpit.” and was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden N.J. People on the beach called 911 when they saw the circling boat and the Coast Guard stalled the engine with a rope.
Other reports indicate he fell out about 100 feet from shore, a man on shore swam out to keep him afloat till help arrived, a nearby boater pulled both of them from the water, he was then life flighted to the hospital, and was in critical condition two days later.
This accident resulted in a legal case we covered at McGarrigle v. Mercury Marine propeller case / lanyard kill switch case.
- D 20 July 2007 Providence Journal (Rhode Island) “Barrington Teen Died From Being Struck in River” reports Patrick Murphy, age 17 of Barrington RI, was being towed (tubing?) on the Barrington River Tuesday 17 July at Hundred Acre Cove. The 21 foot Seminole boat was being driven by another 17 year old. The owner of the boat said he does not know how the boys obtained it. After Murphy was missing, law enforcement believed he was still alive, however his body was found Wednesday afternoon about 100 yards north of East Bay Bike Path Bridge. Reports indicate he did not drown. “He was killed by blunt force trauma and being slashed by something sharp, probably a propeller.” A spokesman for the State Attorney General said, “Law enforcement officials are going on the assumption that the boat’s propellers caused the cuts.”
- D 18 July 2007 Maine Today “Massachusetts Woman Killed in Boat Accident” reports Jeanie Glover, a 65 year old woman from Beverly Massachusetts, was on a 17 foot boat with her husband on Tuesday July 17 near Orient ME about 5:35 pm. She was trying to tie the boat to the dock at a friend’s house, and “fell into the inboard-outboard engine’s propeller.” She was pronounced dead at the scene.
- 18 July 2007 Fosters Online (Dover NH) “As Horrified People Look On, Motorboat Propeller Slices Whale Near Rye Harbor” reports on Saturday July 14th about 60 whale watchers were at Jeffreys Ledge about 20 miles off the coast on a whale tour vessel. About 4pm they were watching a large finback whale surfacing and spouting when a “speeding motorboat cruised right over where the whale had been.” The whale resurfaced and whale watchers saw “a large gash in the whale’s back and bright red blood pouring from the wound.”
- 17 July 2007 Daily Record (U.K.- accident in Scotland) “Crewman Falls Into Lifeboat Propeller” reports A. McLean, age 19 of Kingohorn, was one of three crewmembers in an inshore lifeboat RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) group based at Klinghorn. Sunday July 15th the RNLI crew was wearing helments, protective clothing and life jackets while practicing lifeboat maneuvers in calm seas off Kirkcaldy in Fife. McLean fell overboard “and suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a propeller”. The crew got him back in the boat, called an ambulance and headed to shore. He was taken to Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, then moved to Western General.
A 17 July report in the Daily Star says “Despite wearing a helmet, the blade sliced throught his skull and into his brain.” Doctors say he is stable (in a coma) but the brain damage is irreparable.
- 15 July 2007 News Leader (Missouri) “Water Skier Injured by Boat Prop on Lake of the Ozarks” reports J. Lara, a 28 year old woman from Arnold MO, finished skiing early this morning on Lake of the Ozarks in Camden County about 8:10 am and was attempting to board the boat. The operator thought the boat was in neutral, but it was in reverse. She was “struck by the propeller and suffered a large laceration to her leg below the knee” and taken to Lake Regional Hospital.
Missouri State Water Patrol has an online report N07070110 on the propeller accident.
Note – just three days ago there was another reported prop accident on Lake of the Ozarks. They were even taken to the same hospital.
- 14 July KXMB (Montana) “Woman in Stable Condition After Being Cut by Propeller” reports an AP report on an accident that took place Thursday July 12th on the Flathead River. A woman, and a man, and an 11 year old child were onboard when the boat hit the wake of another boat. Both adults were pitched out. The woman “was cut on the arm and scalp by the propeller.” The man rescued the woman, then talked the child through slowing the boat down. It had been circling at full speed. The woman was taken to a hospital in Kallispell
Other reports indicate the boat was traveling about 30 mph at the time of the accident which occurred just south of Sportsman’s Bridge. The lady was life flighted to the hospital.
A 24 July report in USFedNews says Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks issued a news release today asking anyone who may have witnessed this accident on Flathead River south of Sportsman’s Bridge at about 8pm July 12th that has not been contacted to please come forward. They believe two vessels may have passed by the boat about 30 to 60 seconds prior to the accident and they may be able to provide additional information. Please contact Captain Lee Anderson at 751-4561, or by email at email@example.com.
- 12 July 2007 News Leader (Missouri) “Teen Injured by Boat Propeller at Lake of the Ozarks” reports E. Marsters, a 15 year old young man from Imperial MO was on Lake of the Ozarks today with a family member. The family member cut the boat too close to him, he tried to get out of the way, but “his life jacket slowed him down” and he was hit by the propeller. He suffered moderate injuries to his right foot and left calf and was taken to Lake Regional Hospital.
The Missouri State Water Patrol report N07070102 says it was a Playcraft Pontoon boat, he was tubing, and hit after coming around to pick him up.
Note – we have seen a few other instances where life jackets seem to have contributed to being hit. They obviously need to be worn, but some thought might be given to a quick release, like those used with bullet proof vests in Iraq for quick medical treatment?
- D 9 July 2007 Courant (Connecticut) “One Killed in Boating Accident” reports on a runaway boat with no operator which then crashed into a sailboat, resulting in the death of a 53 year old woman. Sunday afternoon 8 July about 3:50 pm on the Connecticut River, south of the Amtrak railroad bridge between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, a runaway boat whose operator had fallen overboard, struck a sailboat. Four people were ejected from the sailboat and quickly pulled from the water. Three survivors were taken to a hospital in New Haven. A 53 year old woman was killed. This report did NOT call it a propeller strike, but several later news stories did. Sea Tow finally stopping the runaway by “snagging the propeller with a line”.
Other reports indicate the Sea Tow boat tried to tie off the propeller to a cleat on their boat and flipped their own boat, its own people were then rescued by TowBoat U.S.
Later news reports identify the deceased lady as 53 year old Susan Brandes of South Windsor and state she had a severe amputation. “It looked like the propeller had done a lot of damage.” Conflicting reports indicate one of the other victims had their arm severed by a propeller (some say it was a man others say a woman), plus others say the remaining seriously injured person also had their arm sliced by a propeller. L. Brandes, husband of the the deceased lady was among those injured. He was flown to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Another lady, J. Spector, was flown to St. Raphael Hospital in New Haven, and the third person injured, Mr. F. Spector, was treated at Shoreline Medical Center in Essex and released. A greyhound mix dog on the runaway boat is okay. The dog jumped after the collision, was ran over once by the boat, rescued by SeaTowUS, then was trapped under the SeaTow US boat when it capsized for about an hour in an air pocket. Reports say the speedboat operator said he was ejected when the boat hit a wake, others think he may have been ejected during the collision.
A July 10th News 3 (KFBS) report included an amateur video of the runaway boat which appears to be powered by a Yamaha outboard.
July 11th TheDay reported some biographical info on those injured.
A 29 May 2010 TheDay.com report indicates the Governor of Connecticut signed a bill this week imposing harsher penalties on boaters convicted of killing someone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the bill also extended the two hour time limit for chemical tests. This bill resulted in part from the accident above and the family’s support.
- D? 8 July 2007 – Osmany Amado Castellanos, a 22 year old young man, was boating with friends. They left Black Point Marina Sunday 8 July for Elliot Key. After they left Elliot Key to return to Black Point Marina, he fell in, his body was found the next morning with injuries to the head and arm. The accident happened in Miami-Dade County Florida. Several news reports cover the accident as a search and rescue effort that resulted in recovery of his body the next day but do not mention propellers as a cause. It has been reported to us by a family member as a propeller strike. A local investigation is ongoing.
- 8 July 2007 Missouri State Water Patrol report N07070100 says J. McGinty, 26 year old male from Grain Valley MO, was reboarding a boat on Blue Springs near Lees Summit from tubing when his shorts got caught in the propeller, his leg was pulled in and he was cut in the upper thigh. Transported to Center Point Medical Center in Independence MO by private vehicle, treated and released.
Note this is another entrapped accident.
- 8 July 2007 Cox News Service (North Carolina) “Teen Falls Overboard, Struck by Propeller” reports four people were in a 16 foot fishing boat about 8:35 pm Friday 6 July on the Little River, south of Nixonton at the mouth of Symonds Creek. A 17 year old male fell from the boat and “was struck in the face by the boat’s propeller.”, Police blocked off all intersections on U.S. Highway 17 northward to Albemarle Hospital so he could be transported as quickly as possible. From there he was air lifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
- 6 July 2007 Commonwealth Journal (Somerset Kentucky) “Pulaski Again A Hotspot for Holiday Visitors” reports lots of people came to the region to celebrate the July 4th holiday. The only negatives were two accidents on Lake Cumberland. “Craig Shoe, resource manager for the lake, said a young woman was seriously hurt when she tangled with a boat propeller while swimming at 76 Falls in Clinton County.” He also reported a serious boating accident at nearby Grider Hill but no details were available (no mention if the second accident involved a propeller or not).
- 5 July 2007 WoodTV* (Grand Rapids MI) “Boy Loses Leg in Tubing Accident” reports from Muskegon on a July 4th accident at Middle Lake in Dalton Township. About 6:30 pm an eight year boy named T. Gentry was riding a tube behind a Sea-Do PWC driven by his father on the crowded lake. He fell, came up, and “seconds later was struck by a 19 foot speedboat.” Investigators reported the boat operator was temporarily blinded by the glare of the sun. “The boat’s propeller doing nearly deadly damage, severing off the 8-year old’s right leg and severely mangling the left.” The boat operator helped the boy into his boat and called 911. The young boy was eventually wound up at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids in critical condition. Investigators said the boat operator was traveling less than 20mph and appeared to be following the rules of the lake.
- 5 July 2007 Citrus County Chronicle Online “Manatee Dies in Kings Bay After Being Struck by Boat” reports a severely injured manatee with several propeller cuts and one or two calves was found on July 4th by a tour boat captain and two customers near Buzzard Island. They saw the manatee about 8 am. The captain radioed for help but was unable to obtain a response so he called his wife and asked her to call state and federal rescue officials. The manatee died in the afternoon and officials did not arrive till about 2:30 pm due to being stretched thin over the holiday and another manatee rescue at Naples.
- 5 July 2007 Sacramento Bee (California) “Female Swimmer Injured When Hit by Boat Propeller” reports an 18 year old young woman was swimming in the American River during the 4th of July celebrations about 6:30 pm when she was struck by the propeller of a moving boat. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary treated her leg injuries before she was taken to an area hospital. The Auxiliary reported a large party was going on in the area.
Late July 5th we received a press release on this accident from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on this accident. Ed Sweeny, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Chief of the Dept of Public Affairs was on the vessel that responded.
- D 05 July 2007 Augusta Chronicle (Georgia) “Search Continues for Drowning Victim” reports. About 4pm Wednesday July 4th, Elliot Rivers, age 19 of Augusta, and described as a good swimmer was boating with friends on Thurmond Lake near Lake Springs Park and Tradewinds Marina (near Thurmond Dam). The boat he was riding in made a sharp turn and he was ejected. A dive team has been working unsuccessfully to retrieve the body and is currently awaiting an underwater camera from Savannah River Site Laboratory. “Authorities discovered damage to the propeller of the boat…. it is possible he was struck by the propeller after the was thrown from the boat.”
A 6 July 2007 report from the same paper reports they found his body about 7:30pm Thursday July 5th.
And a second 6 July 2007 report from the same paper indicates the Columbia County Coroner performed an autopsy and found Elliot Edgars Hamilton Rivers died of “injuries to his head and back” Per the coroner, he “died of injuries when he was struck by the boat’s propeller.”
- 4 July 2007 TC Palm Local News (FL) “Teenage Girl Hit by Boat Near Fort Pierce Inlet” reports from Fort Pierce that a teenage girl “was struck in the right leg and foot by a boat propeller” this afternoon near Fort Pierce Inlet in the Dynamite Point area. She was taken by a St Lucie County sheriff’s boat to the Coast Guard station on Seaway Drive, then to an area hospital by the District Fire Dept which was called at 3:37 pm. The boat that struck her did not stop to render aid, but may not have known they hit her.
Later reports indicate she (E. M. Merryman) was wading on the Dynamite Point Sandbar when she was struck.
- 4 Jul 2007 Local10.com WPLG (Miami FL) “Woman’s Hand Cut Off in Boating Accident” reports a 30 year old unidentified woman was in the water in Biscane Bay today when “she got too close to the propeller and it cut off her hand”. It was not known if she fell in or jumped in. The lady was taken by boat to Mount Sinai Hospital, then on to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Divers searched unsucessfully for her hand hoping it might be be reattached.
- 3 July 2007 North Platte Telegraph (Nebraska) “Tickle on the Mend” reports T. Tickle, a 45 year old man from North Platte, was water skiing on Johnson Lake on Sunday afternoon July 1st, when “he got too close and his right arm was caught.” He was taken to Tri-County Hospital in Lexington NE with “injuries to his right arm and hip.”
- 3 July 07 Fresno Bee (California) “News Briefs: Man’s Toes Severed in Lake” reports About 7pm to 7:30 pm a man was swimming from one boat to another in the Temperance Flat area at Millerton Lake State Park. The man “suffered several severed toes” by a propeller.
- 1 July 2007 NorthJersey.com (NJ reporting on NY accident) “Officials Increase Patrols Following Lake Accident” reports on an accident that occurred early Saturday 30 June about 2 a.m on the New York side of Greenwood Lake. A boat operated by an intoxicated operator crashed into a boat parked on the lake that may not have had its lights on. Two people were injured and taken to Westchester Medical Center.
One of our readers in the region reports the injured were A. Norcia (22 year old young woman) and J. David (24 year old man). The accident happened near West Millford New Jersey. The two injured parties were on a pontoon boat, the other boat was a speedboat. The man received a skull fracture, the lady’s left hand was amputated, plus she had several broken bones in each arm and multiple lacerations due to contact with the propeller. The accident occurred about 1:40am according to local newspaper reports.
- 1 Jul 2007 Statesman (Austin TX) “Man Sues Boat, Motor Companies After Losing Leg” reports an update on Jacob Brochtrup, now 20, who was severely injured by a propeller on Lake Austin in 2005 (other reports place accident on 1 July 2005). He is now suing Sea Ray (the boat manufacturer) and Mercury Marine (the drive manufacturer). His attorney, Mark Guerrero, says both the boat and engine company should have installed guards. Brochtrup, now a student at Texas A&M, lost most of his blood, was in cardiac arrest for at least 45 minutes, and delivered by a STAR Flight helicopter to the emergency room clinically dead after his accident.
A KXAN TV 36 report at the time of the accident indicated he jumped into the water to retrieve a ski rope while the driver put the boat in reverse. He was right in front of the lower unit, his leg was nearly severed.
- 27 Jun 2007 The State Journal-Register (Illinois) “Man Remains in Hospital for Boating Crash Injuries” reports J.L. Handy, 67 year old male from Ashland was boating on the Illinois River near Bath on June 16th in Mason County. He was standing on a tube rope in the stern when the boat hit a large wake about 2:30 pm. He fell in with the rope tangled around his left leg. His right leg went into the propeller and “was severed, leaving only a tendon hanging.” Mr Handy was Life Flighted to St. Johns. Authorities now report his left leg also had to be amputated. The news report states no one was on the tube at the time of the accident.
- 26 June 2007 Stillwater Gazette (Minnesota) “Girl Hit by Boat Recovering, Charges Looming” reports a 12 year old girl from Elk River was being pulled on a water tube by a PWC last Sunday (24 June?) when the PWC turned near Bayport Marina, she fell off. An 18 Foot Hurricane Deck Boat exiting Bayport Marina then drove over the girl striking her with its propeller. She “suffered numerous cuts and fractures to her right leg and abdomen from the boat and propeller” and was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Another 12 year old girl was riding with her when she was thrown from the tube. The second girl was not injured.
- D 25 June 2007 News Leader (Missouri) “Body Recovered From Lake Taneycomo” reports Casey Waun, a 26 year old male from Branson, fell from a pontoon boat on Lake Taneycomo near Rockwell Beach on Saturday night 23 June, was stuck by the propeller and did not resurface.
Another report indicates his body was found about 7:25 am Sunday morning June 24th.
- 24 Jun 2007 Deseret Morning News (Utah) reports a 22 year old man from Davis County was riding in a towed tube, he fell, the boat circled to pick him up, it was not in neutral, he drifted into the propeller, “and his abdomen was cut open”. He was life flighted to McKay-Dee Hospital in Odgen UT for surgery. Weber County Sherriff’s Office Sgt. Ryon Hadley said, “Its not a regular occurence, but in 32 years, I’ve seen several of these (types of accidents). People have got to be aware of their boating operation and be skilled in what to do and how to do it.”
- 19 June 2007 The Border Mail (Australia) “$650,000 for Teen Hit by Speedboat” reports Ayeshea Maree Sparks, then 14, was struck in the right foot by a ski boat propeller at Kohlhagen Beach on the Murrumbidgee River 9 November 2002. She was swimming 3 to 5 meters from shore when a skier fell, the ski boat circled to pickup the skier and struck her. “More than four years later she remains in pain and badly disfigured despite two months in hospitals undergoing surgery to partially recover the damage.” The speedboat driver was found liable in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday and Ms. Sparks was awarded $650,000 (Australian dollars). Other reports indicated the award included $213,500 for non-economic loss (half the maximum) and $269,220 for future loss of earning capacity.
- 16 June 2007 The Petersborough Examiner (Ottawa Canada) “Count Awards Recognize Plowing Match, Late OPP Inspector, Little Girl Who Helped Save Family After Boating Mishap” reports Petersborough County presented one of its 15th Annual County Recognition Awards to Elise Proulx of Ottawa (age six at the time of the accident on 5 August 2006) who stopped “the family’s boat after her parents and sister were thrown into the water and her mother was injured by the boat’s propeller.” The accident occured on Catchacoma Lake.
- 15 June 2007 Trinidad & Tobago Newsday (Tobago) “Boat Crashes into Teens at Pigeon Pt” reports two students, Y. Quesnel (17 year old male from Trinidad) and C.B. Laso (16 year old female from Spain) were severely injured on Tuesday 12th June about 5:30pm while swimming in shallow water about 15 feet offshore at Pigeion Point. A pirogue (small flat bottomed boat) ran over them. The young woman received a broken arm, he left leg was broken in 5 places, her skull was fractured and she had two major head lacerations. One doctor was in the pirogue and two others were on shore. Together they tended to them till the ambulance arrived about 45 minutes later. They are still trying to stabilize the young man before they can operate on his severe head injury. Both were air lifted from Tobago on Wednesday and flown to Port of Spain Hospital. NOTE – this accident does not specifically mention the injuries were caused by a propeller. Thanks to one of our readers for pointing out the accident.
- 14 June 2007 “The Oregonian” (Oregon) “From Devestating Loss Comes Gift of Friendship” reports an update on the recovery of Vicky Chalfant who lost her left leg to a propeller on the Columbia River last August (27 Aug 2006 from previous coverage). She remains an assistant to a Circuit Court Judge at the Multnomah County Courthouse and has become good friends with a coworker as a result of the accident.
- D 12 June 2007 Gainsville Times (Georgia) “Boat Propeller Struck Man Killed in Lanier” reports Sajeel Vehra, a 30 year old man from Atlanta, was swimming in Lake Lanier with about 6 or 7 friends and family members at Big Creek, across from Holiday Marina on Sunday June 10th about 5:45 pm. An 18 to 20 foot pontoon boat the group had rented from Holiday Marina was moving away from shore, he was struck by the propeller and died at the scene, but was taken to Northeast Medical Center in Gainsville. The County Deputy Coroner said, “Vehra had suffered blunt trauma all over his body.” Ben Johnson, spokesman for the state Dept of Natural Resources, said, “It can be particularly difficult in a pontoon boat to see the swimmers that are in the water around you because you’re sitting higher up off the water.”
- 12 June 2007 KARE11 (Minneapolis-St. Paul MN) “Man Injured in Boat Accident on Lake Susan” reports a 21 year old male from Chaska was loading a tube into the back of a boat on Lake Susan late monday afternoon “when his leg and swimming trucks became entrapped in the propeller.” Firefighters from Chanhassen pulled the boat to shallow water and freed him from the propeller. He suffered “a deep cut on his right thigh” and reported if he had been entangled with his head underwater “this would be a very unfortunate situation.” He was life flighted to HCMC. Coverage includes an actual VIDEO of the rescue.
WCCO also has a video report on the accident.
Later, KARE11 posted a video interview with the young man on June 12th.
See a somewhat similar “trapped” accident in 7 June 2007 media coverage on this page.
- 11 June 2007 KFYR (Bismark ND) “Teen Hurt in Boating Accident” reports a 17 year old male was on a pontoon boat pulling a skier on Saturday 9 June. The skier fell, the boat turned to go back, he fell from the pontoon boat and was stuck on his arm by the propeller. “Bismark Police describe his injury as significant”
- 9 Jun 2007 Times Herald-Record Online (New York on RI accident) “Ten Year Old Girl Navigates Boat to Reach Injured Niece in River” reports a ten year old girl was boating with her uncle and his daughter (O. Rose) in the Sekonnet River on Northeastern Rhode Island on Memorial Day (May 28 – 27th?) when her cousin, a second grader, fell from the front of the boat. Her uncle stopped the outboard engine and jumped in to help her cousin who had been struck by the propeller on the left side of her face and head. During the process, the boat had drifted several hundred feet away. The young girl remaining in the boat had just had her first lesson in how to start it a few minutes earlier, now her uncle needed her to start it and pilot the boat though the choppy waters to pick them up. She accomplished the task with flying colors. The injured girl was taken to a hospital in Providence and will have reconstructive surgery next week.
The mother of the injured girl has started a blog (MoonFinderBeams on Blogspot) on her daughters injuries and recovery. The blog appears to have since been taken down.
- D 9 June 2007 North Country Gazette (New York – accident in FL) “Special Report: License to Kill” reports on questionable actions by the Florida Dept of Justice including those surrounding a March 2005 propeller accident on Beer Can Island near Clearwater. Jimmy Spicer, age 21, and others tried to push a boat grounded by the tide while the operator gunned the engine. His friends left and he was pushing alone when he was struck by the propeller in head and body and died. The boat was being operated in the spring break environment by the son of a prominent person.
- D 9 June 2007 South China Morning Post (China) “Speedboat Rider Heard a “Boom” Before Seeing Body” reports reports on a trial surrounding the propeller death of Lau Wah-fai, age 66, on 19 August 2006. One man reports he was on the rear of a banana speedboat, heard a “boom” , the speed boat stopped, and he saw the body floating in the water about 3:15 pm. “Lau died from multiple injuries caused by a boat’s propeller while swimming outside the boom line at Clear Water Bay.”
- 8 June 2007 The Dispatch Online (North Carolina) “Students Learn to Set Own Expectations” reports Logan Aldridge, 16 or Raleigh, spoke to about 100 fifth graders at Friedberg Elementary on Thursday about his experiences surrounding losing his left arm to a propeller in 2004. His motivational presentation included approximately 500 slides showing his life before and after the accident. He became determined to not let others set limits for him.
- 7 June 2007 Times Journal (Russell Springs Kentucky) “Propeller Victim Thanks Man Who Helped Save Her is a Hero” (note we did not find the actual article, but found a porported copy of it) reports that over Memorial Weekend (Sunday May 27th to be more specific) a couple was cruising on Lake Cumberland. They went around a bend into Jamestown Marina and found a man in panic as his girlfriend (L. Lovely of Morehead KY) was stuck in the propeller and he was struggling to hold her head above water. The man continued to try to hold her head up while the new man on the scene jumped in to help. Interviewed later he said there was blood everywhere and her leg was caught between the prop and the anticavition plate. Her shorts were also wrapped around the propeller. The man in the boat raised the outdrive and her leg came free. They got her on the deck, tied her leg with towels, took her to the marina and called for help. Doctors at University of Kentucky Medical Center told her they “had never seen anyone with a wound such as hers live to tell about it.”
See a somewhat similar “trapped” accident in 12 June 2007 media coverage on this page.
- 4 June 2007 WWMT Channel 3 (Michigan) “Teen Save’s Friend’s Life After Boating Accident” reports The Lakeview High School JV baseball team was on Beadle Lake in Emmett Township, southeast of Battle Creek on Saturday June 2nd. E. Chupka, a 16 year old male, was being pulled on a tube along with another rider behind a boat. The other rider fell, the boat went around to pickup the falled rider while Chupka was still on the tube and ran over him during the process. “The propeller cut open his leg.” The Emmett Township Public Safety Chief said it struck his femoral artery. Shawn Metheny pulled him from the water, and put a tourniquet on his leg which is thought to have saved his life. The boat was being driven by a 15 year old. NOTE – there is a great video of the actual newscast available from a link near the left middle of their coverage.
- 4 June 2007 Channel 5 Belize (Belize) “Tourist Injured in Collision With Boat” reports T. Roquet, 43 year old male Frenchman living in Guatemala, was visiting Belize on Friday June 1st. He was snorkeling about 60 feet off the pier at Caye Caulker about 5:30 pm when he became aware of a boat headed at him, tried to avoid coliding with the boat, but lost three fingers to the propeller. He was taken to K.H.M.J. This morning he was speaking out at the Channel 5 studio saying swimmers should be alerted to dangers in that area. He is also seeking damages from the owner of the boat he thinks hit him (a Triple J boat used to ferry passengers to the island). That person claims it was not his boat and if it had of been, his injuries would have been much more severe.
- 4 June 2007 DesMoines Register “Hoover Coach Hits His Stride” reports an update on Michael Vukovich, the new basketball coach of the DesMoines Hoover baseball team who lost his left leg to a propeller on 22 May 1999 while boating with some friends in northern Georgia. He fell from an innertube, the boat swung around to pick him up, the prop slashed both his legs, tearing “off a hunk of muscle” near his right ankle, and cutting his left leg. Paramedics did not think he would make it to the amblulance. He was transported via rescue boat, ambulance, then life flighted to a hospital in Greenville SC. His left had to be amputated. He now has a prosthetic known as a C-Leg. Players are excited about the arrival of their new coach.
- 31 May 2007 Columbia Basin Herald Online (WA) “Memorial Day Weekend Nets Fewer 911 Calls” reports on numerous Columbia River Basin accidents including one in which two males fell from the bow when a boat abruptly slowed, one of them “received severe cuts to his legs from the boat’s propeller. One of his feet was nearly amputated just above the ankle.”
- 29 May 2007 The Providence Journal (Rhode Island) “Girl, 8, Injured by Propeller in Sakonnet River Accident” reports an eight year old girl fell from a boat in the Sakonnet River Sunday evening May 27th and was struck by the propeller. The fire dept was called about 5:20pm. She was taken to Standish Boatyard, off Main Road and south of the Sakonette River Bridge, then by ambulance to Hasbro Childrens Hospital in Providence. A fire dept spokesman said “her injuries could be life threatening” and “She suffered significant trauma to the head.”
- 29 May 2007 Chippewa.com (Wisconsin) “Many Hurt in Boat Crash” reports a major accident on Lake Holcombe about 11 pm Sunday night near Paradise Shores Resort. A 19 foot runabout with an inboard engine ran over a pontoon boat. The runabout rode up on top the pontoon then came down on the left side with the stern drive entangled in the pontoon railing. Eight people were on the runabout and 11 were on the pontoon. All 11 on the pontoon had some sort of injury, several were “quite serious involving head trauma and broken bones” and one person was apparently pinned under the runabout for a while. This accident is very similar to one that occurred on the same lake on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend last year. NOTE – propeller injuries were NOT specifically mentioned.
Other reports indicate two people were pinned beneath the runabout while the engine was still running.
- D 28 May 2007 Redding Searchlight (California) “Deputies: Boater Tried to Avoid Collision” reports 18 year old Daniel Trent Blake of Anderson was riding a PWC on Lake Shasta about 4:08 pm near the Jones Valley Point of the Pitt River Arm of Lake Shasta. A Redding man launched a boat with his family on board from the public ramp at Jones Valley and headed north toward Jones Valley Point. At the Pitt River Arm he saw the PWC headed toward the left side of his boat. He slowed and turned to the right, but was still hit by the PWC. The PWC hit the left side of the boat, Daniel Blake was thrown in and ran over. He “suffered severe injuries, was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding and died. Note – while this report does not specifically mention propeller injuries, a report in the San Franciso Chronicle dated 3 June does.
- D 28 May 2007 WLOX ABC 13 (Mississippi) “Gulfport Woman Killed in Boating Accident” reports Kellie Ramsey, age 35 of Gulfport” was on an 18 foot boat with friends off Horn Island on Sunday afternoon May 27th. Details are uncertain per Gulf Islands National Seashore Rangers, but she became entangled in the propeller and “died of massive injuries from the propeller”. Rangers responded about 4pm.
Later reports indicate she was trying to climb back into the boat and was caught in the prop wash”.
- D 28 May 2007 WDPE 15 (South Carolina) “Father Speaks Out About His Son’s Death in Boating Accident” reports Justin Byrd, age 24, was on a boat hit by another watercraft this past weekend at Galivants Ferry. He fell off the boat and “he was then hit and killed by the propeller.” Justin Byrd had served in the U.S. Coast Guard for about four years. His father plans to “share the message of waterway safety to just about anyone who will listen.” Justin Byrd will be buried Tuesday.
Other reports indicate he was in a 15 foot aluminum boat that was hit by a 19 foot bass boat.
- 28 May 2007 KVOA Tucson (AZ) “Minor Injuries, Arrests During Holiday Weekend at Lake Havasu” reports on Memorial Day Weekend injuries and arrests at Lake Havasu including “another man was treated after a propeller hit his leg.”
- 28 May 2007 Accident Date – This accident report was contributed by one of our readers – A model year 2000 Bennington 2575FS pontoon boat with a Yamaha 80 HP four stroke outboard was involved in an Alabama propeller accident on Lake Pickwick (straddles AL/TN/MS border). A right arm was amputated by the propeller. Four people were on board per the USCG BARD Report #2007-AL-0063 which shows the accident happening on Bear Creek near Iuka while they were cruising.
- 27 May 2007 Newswatch 50 WWTI (New York) “Richville Man Injured in Boating Accident” reports C. Garrison, a 36 year old man from Richville NY, was fishing from a boat with some friends on the Oswegatchie River. The boat struck a sunken log, he was ejected and struck by the propeller. He was “struck on the arm and head causing extensive injuries”, taken to E.J. Noble Hospital and then transferred to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Vermont “due to the extent of his injuries”.
- D 22 May 2007 Kansas City Star (Missouri) “Belton Man Dies at Lake of the Ozarks” reports Dustin Francis, a 21 year old man from Belton MO, was on Lake of the Ozarks earlier today when he and others were riding in the bow of a boat when it hit the wake of another boat. He was ejected, but managed to hang onto the boat. The boat operator that he was now behind the boat, so he swung to boat around to go back and pick him up, this action caused him to loose his grip, and then be struck by the propeller.
Other reports indicate it was a 20 foot boat and the accident happened about 1 am. His body was finally recovered on July 15th, 2007. It was found near the 3 mile marker by a PWC operator.
- D 22 May 2007 The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) “Police Briefs: KY Teen Dies After Collision of Boat, Watercraft on Ohio River” reports Ally LeMaster, a 15 year old girl from Worthington Kentucky, was riding a PWC on the Ohio River Sunday afternoon May 20th when she struck the side of a boat driven by another member of her group between 4:30 and 4:45 pm. She struck the side of the boat twice and was pulled into the propeller. “She had massive damage by the impact then extensive trauma caused by the propeller” and was pronounced dead at the scene, but transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington to confirm her death.
- 22 May 2007 Mainchi Daily News (China) “Human Leg Picked Out of Downtown River Belongs to Man Found in Tokyo Bay” reports DNA testing of a right leg found floating May 14th in the Nihonbashi River in the Hitotsubashi District of Chiyoda-ku has matched it to a man’s body found floating in Tokyo Bay off the Daiba District of Minato-ku on April 26th. The is thought to have hanged himself and later had his leg severed by a boat propeller while his body was drifting in the River. He is thought to have been dead about a month.
- 22 May 2007 The News Tribune (Tacoma WA) “Attorney Faces Felony Charges in Boat Crash” reports on the status of a legal case involving a 26 June 2006 collision on Commencement Bay near Silver Cloud Inn on Ruston Way in which a 2005 Bayliner rode up and over a 1995 Advantage boat. A 27 year old woman riding in the back of the Advantage was thought to be struck by the propeller an suffered deep gashes to both hands. She has been through to two surgeries and eight months of physical therapy. The Bayliner operator, charged with two felonies, has pled not guilty in the accident which happened about 10:20 pm.
- 22 May 2007 HOI 19 online (Illinois) “Skull Implant” reports an update on Jack Stapleton who was struck in 2004 at age 4 by a boat propeller in the head. Not expected to survive, he was put in a medical induced coma for weeks. He began to recover and Doctors needed to find a way to protect his brain as it was open through a gaping hole on the left side of his head. They modeled his head an made replacement cover from man made materials. He still faces many problems, but does have a full head of hair. Doctors are concerned he may outgrow the implant and need it replaced in the future.
- 22 May 2007 Telegram & Gazette (Worcester MA) “Victim Yelled for Help” reports from Holland Massachusetts on a boating accident involving a canoe AND mentions the last accident on Hamilton Reservoir occurred 18 June 2001 when a 14 year old boy was struck by the propeller of a pontoon boat and received facial and arm injuries.
- 21 May 2007 Cairns Post (Australia) “Quick Action by Mates Prevents Tragedy on Reef Propeller Tears Man’s Arm” reports a man’s arm and shoulder were “ripped open by a boat propeller” at Batt Reef on Saturday 19 May about 2pm. He was in the water behind a 6 meter half cabin cruiser when a passenger “accidentally knocked the boat’s engine into gear.” Quick action by his spearfishing mates kept him alive. They had problems navigating the inside of the reef due to low tide, but a police vessel assisted them and they were finally able to reach Port Douglas about 7pm. He was taken to Mossman Hospital.
- 19 May 2007 Accident Date – 14 Jan 2009 The Malta Independent Online “Court: Boat Pilot Acquitted of Injuring Swimmer” reports court results of a 19 May 2007 prop accident at St. George’s Bay, St. Julian’s. A German man, C. H. Leiner, was found to have not been swimming in the swimming zone and may have been snorkelling. He was hit and injured, the propeller severing two arteries in his hand. Driver of the boat stopped and rendered assistance. The jury acquitted him and said he was not guilty beyond reasonable doubt of recklessly piloting the boat. Note- another news report on the case had the accident occurring on the same date in 2008.
- D 13 May 2007 WATE6 (Knoxville TN) “Woman Dies in Boating Accident in Loudoun County” reports from Lenior City via Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) that on Saturday May 12th, Erica Nicole Watty, age 21, was boating on Fort Loudoun Reservoir. She, three other adults, and a juvenlie launched from the Canal Boat Ramp on Tellico Reservoir and went into Fort Loudoun to go tubing. On their way back to the ramp (about 8pm) she jumped back into the water and was injured by the boat’s propeller. They took her back to the Canal Boat Ramp. EMS transported her to Fort Loudoun Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The Boat was a 21 foot Regal runabout.
- 13 May 2007 Accident Date – 26 April 2011 Miami Herald (Florida) “FIU’s Softball Sisters Overcome Adversity” reports Jessy Alfonso and her sister left Pelican Harbor Marina in Miami on Mothers Day (13 May) 2007 as part of a group on a friend’s boat. Their boat was struck by another boat. Jessy suffered a “deep gash in her lower back and upper backside” from the boat’s propeller. She was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, given 33 stitches, and took months to start walking again. The two sisters now play softball for Florida International University.
- 13 May 2007 TampaBays10.com (FL) “Teen Injured in Boating Accident” reports A homeowner that owned a boat that was near his home on Lake Padget in Land O’Lakes was throwing a birthday party for his 15 year old son about 7:40 pm Saturday 12 May. Several other teenagers were present at the home for the party. The boat owner started his boat and put it in reverse. C. Crain, 14 year old male, was swimming behind the boat. His right foot was hit causing a deep laceration. C. Crain was airlifted to St Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Four other teenagers were in the boat when the engine was started. The boat was a 19 foot Rinker.
- 8 May 2007 The Cairns Post (Australia) “Probe After Water Drills Turns Into Emergency” reports the Australian Coast Guard was conducting a rescue drill off Cairns early on April 25th (Anzac Day) when an emergency worker’s leg was struck by the propeller of an Australian Coast Guard boat. The man was in the water during an exercise involving a helicopter rescue crew and was underwater at the time he was struck. He was treated on the boat by a paramedic that had also been in the water with him, winched up to the helicopter and flown to a nearby hospital. “He’s got a fairly traumatic leg injury” but is expected to make a full recovery. An investigation of the accident began today.
- D 7 May 2007 KRXI (Fox of Reno NV) “DUI Charge in Fatal Sonoma Boating Accident” reports Mark Spier, age 51 of Orland California, was a passenger in the rear of a Master Craft ski boat on Lake Sonoma near Jet Ski Cove (Sonoma County Calif.) about 3:40pm on Sunday 6 May when he fell over the back when the boat backed up and became stuck in the propeller. A County Deputy freed him from the propeller and he was declared dead at the scene. The boat operator has been arrested for being under the influence. Other reports indicate a County Sheriff Lt. later stated of the victim, “He had some pretty severe trauma to his abdominal area from the propeller.”
- 5 May 2007 MSN Sports “Nelford Takes Another Shot at Being a Champion” reports Jim Nelford, now 51, qualified on Tuesday for the FedEx Kinko’s Classic Golf Tourneyment in Austin Texas. The Champions Tour is a tremendous opportunity for golfers after they finish the PGA Tour. His chance was almost lost in September 1985 when he was Canada’s most promising golfer. He “suffered multiple, life-threatening injuries” when he was struck by a boat propeller while water skiing on Saguaro Lake near Phoenix. His right arm was broken in nine places, nerves to two fingers were shredded. He spent four weeks in the hospital and his PGA Tour effectively ended. He tried to qualify several times early this year but missed the cut.
- 5 May 2007 India eNews (India) “Entrapreneur Convicted for Mulitlating Olympic Sailor” reports Lars Schmidt Grael, an Olympic sailor, was hit by a boat propeller while practicing at Vitoria (Vittoria) in southeast Italy in September 1998. “The boat propeller dilacerated one of the sailor’s legs, which had to be amputated later.” The boat that struck him had crossed over the lines marking the competition area before striking him. The Italian Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) just upheld a lower court decision convicting the boat operator (C. de Abreu) and sentencing him to prison for three years and sentenced his father (the boat owner) to be approximately $3,632 monthly to the victim for the remainder of his lifetime, plus indemnities of about $1.23 million.
- 2 May 2007 Capitol Online (Maryland) “Deep Creek Lake Rivals Ocean Ciy for Most Recreational Boating Accidents” reports on many accidents at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. It begins with a Labor Day Weekend 2005 accident in which a 11 year old boy, M. Emmet of Boyds MD, was swimming near his family’s boat when a rented boat backed up 15 to 20 feet and caught his foot in the outboard propeller “shredding nerves, tendons, and skin.” He was hospitalized 3 days, and endured months of recovery. The article goes on to report the US Coast Guard database shows 20 propeller accidents at Deep Creek over the last ten years.
- 30 April 2007 Lake Sun Leader (Missouri) “Boat Hits Log, Runs Over Woman” reports B. McGinnis, a 43 year old woman from Odessa Missouri, was riding in a small runabout about 8:45 pm Sunday (29 April) when it struck a log. She was thrown from the bow and stuck on the arms by the boat’s propeller on Lake of the Ozarks near the 60 mile marker. She was taken to University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia.
- 27 Apr 2007 Perth Now (Australia) “Diver Gashed by Boat Propeller” reports about 10:30 am this morning paramedics were contacted to helicopter to about 50km off Hillarys to winch up a 28 year old man hit by a propeller. He had a “open fracture to his left knee. and was taken to Royal Perth Hospital.
- 26 Apr 2007 Triton-Megayacht News “Owner and Skipper of Dive Boat Prosecuted” reports additional information surrounding the 13 Aug 2005 propeller accident in the Farne Islands off the UK. M. Ward of Lughborough in Leicestershire was struck by the propellers while returning to the boat resulting in the loss of his left leg and his right leg being pinned and unable to be flexed. “When involved in diving operations, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) recommends that propeller guards are fitted.”
- 17 Apr 2007 Newswire.co.nz (New Zealand) “Youngster Recovering After Propeller Accident” reports Brooke Fletcher a 17 year old Australian swimmer from Queensland hoping to compete in the upcoming Olympics was struck by the propeller of a “water safety craft” while swimming in open water south of Perth today. When was leading a group of five swimmers in a meet and rounding a marker buoy signaling the 2.5 km mark of a 10 km swim race in Matilda Bay, she was struck by a propeller in the back and taken to a local hospital. The incident will be investigated by “Swimming Australia”. She is expected to fully recover and continue swimming competitively.
- 16 Apr 2007 CDNN (Cyber Diving) “UK Diver to Sue Sovereign Diving After Horrific Scuba Diving Accident” reports from Newcastle UK that M. Ward, a 40 year old man, was diving off Blue Caps Reef near the Farne Islands on 13 August 2005 when he “had his leg sliced by a propeller”. As a result, his left leg was amputated and he is wheelchair bound. The operator of the diving vessel did not have certificate authorizing him to operate diving trips at that time. He had been charged with “operating a vessel in such a manner as to cause serious injury and failing to do his duty to ensure the boat operated in a safe manner.” Last night the injured man also vowed to sue the company.
- D 12 Apr 2007 BBC “Family Unaware Man’s Body Found” reports Richard Price, age 37, was in a car crash and chased by police on 5 November 2005. His body was discovered on Warren Gutter Beach near Bude on 8 December 2005, but not identified until June 2006. A post-mortum examination showed his body had injuries from a boat propeller, but no specific cause of death could be determined.
- D 12 Apr 2007 Hattiesburg American (Mississippi) “Autopsy Shows Head Trauma Killed Cornith Man” reports from Iuka MS the body of Donald Owen Beatty, Jr., age 65 of Cornith MS, was found Monday 9 April in the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway by fishermen near the Scruggs Boat Ramp. An autopsy has since shown he died of head trauma. Injuries to the back and side of his head “are consistent with a boat propeller.”
- 9 Apr 2007 ABC News Online (Australia) “Diver Struck by Propeller off Moreton Island” reports a diver was struck by the propeller of a small speedboat this morning off Moreton Island. He was life flighted to Brisbane for medical treatment and is expected to recover.
- 9 Apr 2007 HardBeatNews.com (Daily Caribbean Diaspora News) “Fifteen Years for Bahamas Smuggler”reports from Miami FL the man accused of smuggling illegal aliens into Florida as the result of a 5 November 2005 incident in which he ordered his passengers to jump into deep rough water. Three drowned, plus one was struck by a propeller. The boat operator has been found guilty and sentenced to 15 years. The propeller injury resulted in a charge of bringing aliens into a place other than a designated port of entry resulting in a serious bodily injury.
- COMMERCIAL MARINE D 7 Apr 2007 Daily Mail (UK) “Divers Used by Yardies to Smuggle Drugs to UK” reports Yardie Gangs (shipyard gangs) are using divers to smuggle drugs from Jamaica to the UK. They stick containers of drugs like marijuana / cannabis to the hulls of ships making regular trips from Jamaica to the UK, then retrieve them when the ships are docked in the UK. A diver trying to attach a container containing $5 million British pounds worth of marijuana to a ship in the harbor at Kingstown Jamaica was struck and killed by the ship’s propeller on Tuesday 3 April. Customs officers have recently been using a special underwater scanning machine to check for these shipments from Jamaica to the U.S. and U.K..
- Apr 2007 Military.com “CG Rescues Injured Canadian Woman” reports a Florida accident earlier today when a 55 year old female parasailer, L. Delorne, of Calgary Canada, was parasailing behind a boat named Shoot Um Up. They were about 1.5 miles off Riviera Beach FL at about 11:15 am. A gust of wind caused her to fall into the water and slice her foot on the propeller. She was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard 33 foot special purpose craft and taken to Riviera Beach Marina where she was then taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach FL.
- 1 Apr 2007 Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency) “German Tourist Hit by Boat Propeller in Stable Condition” reports a 35 year old male was diving in waters between Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil off Besut in Terengganu on Friday March 30th. He and his girlfriend had gone to the area in a canoe, and he was diving alone when he was struck by the propeller of a boat about 4:30pm. The boat operator stopped after realizing the propeller had hit something, and the injured diver was taken to Jertih Hospital, then transferred to USM Hospital in Kerian where he is now in stable condition after an operation.
- D 27 March 2007 KOIN6 News (Seattle WA) “Coast Guardsman Killed by Boat Propeller” reports Ronald Gill, Petty Officer 3rd Class of Anchorage Alaska, assigned to the Marine Safety and Security Team of Anchorage was involved in security patrols and training when he fell from a 25 foot fast response boat in Puget Sound near Vashon Island on Sunday afternoon 25 March. He hit his head on the boat’s propeller which caused “skull fractures, cerebral lacerations and cerebral contusions” and was declared dead at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
Another report in the Navy Times on March 26th indicates the accident happened about 2:15 pm Sunday. The vessel was a 25 foot Defender-class boat, powered by two 225 HP Honda engines, capable of doing 45 knots.
Still other reports indicate he was pulled from the water within one minute and taken to Fauntleroy ferry terminal, then rushed to Harborview Medical Center. One report indicates his boat made a sharp turn at the time of the accident, another says they are not sure if he was wearing the helmet and life vest normally worn at these times, another says the investigation could take months, another says this was the last day of his training mission.
- 22 March 2007 Hebert River Express (Australia) “Lucky to Be Alive – ‘I Thought to Myself – I’m Not Going to Die Today’ ” reports B. Rapettie was on Dungess Creek Monday Morning March 12th fishing from his 4.5 meter “tinny” (probably small metal boat) when it hit what he thought to be a crocodile and he was thrown into the water. As he came up, he saw the croc which he said was bigger than his boat. He felt what he thought to be the croc’s tail brush his legs and knew he needed to get back into his circling boat. He tried to grab it as it went past a few times but it was going too fast. When he did grab it , he struggled for ten minutes, dislocated his shoulder, lost his grip and slipped back into the water. When he came back up, the boat swung around and the motor hit him in the head, “the propeller lacerating his face.” He swam to the bank, then got back into the water in an attempt to get his boat. He thought if he could kick the engine up, the engine might stay up and die. His plan worked and he got back into the boat. He felt his face and began to realize the extent of his injuries. He headed up creek, reached a boat ramp and was helped by a nearby off duty paramedic, taken to Ingham Hospital and then on to Townsville Hospital. He suffered two fractures to his jaw, a fractured skull and a broken T1 vertebrae. He had hoped to play on an under 19 sports team this season.
- 17 March 2007 Hume/Moreland Leader (Australia) “Long Recover Road” reports on the recovery of an 8 year old boy, T. Tanneberg, who was in the Murray River near Echuca, awaiting his turn to go wakeboarding behind the family’s boat on 4 January 2007 when “a speedboat driven by a local young man ploughed over the top of him.” Its propeller ripped the wakeboard from his feet, snapping his left leg and slicing one of its arteries. His two brothers and fathers tried to stop the loss of blood till help arrived. He was flown to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, after 7 1/2 hours of surgery, doctors were able to save his leg, in part because he had one more artery than normal. He spent a month in the hospital for many surgeries, grafts and began rehabilitation. He still had no feeling in his lower leg, suffered shot time memory loss, and had nightmares for the first week. His rehabilitation will continue for years.
- 14 March 2007 Asbury & Park Press (New Jersey) “VFW Honors 3 lifesavers” reports an update on Brittany Hamberger, now 17. Last year she worked at Downe’s Marina in Berkeley. On 14 August 2006 she was in a 15 foot rowboat with her brother when it was ran over by a 38 foot boat. She couldn’t swim due to injuring her leg and was rescued by her brother and another man in a pontoon boat they had just helped with a problem with his anchor line. Since then, Brittany has had 3 surgeries to repair nerve damage in her leg. She is anticipated to have one more, then plastic surgery. She has no sensation in parts of her leg and cannot walk for more than 15 minutes. NOTE- the article does NOT specifically call this a propeller strike. All three (her, her brother and the gentleman who helped rescue her) were given lifesaver awards by the VFW.
- D 3 March 2007 Bradenton Herald (FL) “Diver Killed” reports Ricardo Aruajo, age 33 of Hialeah Gardens FL, and another man were free diving from a 50 foot boat this morning (Saturday) about 5 miles southeast of Cape Florida. About 9:30 am a 76 foot boat named Paradise Found came through. Its propellers “killed a diver and chewed up the flippers of another man who survived unscathed…” Aruajo was injured “so bad that paramedics later prepared to amputate his left leg from the groin down”. He was rushed by a marine patrol boat to meet a helicopter at Key Biscayne’s No Name Harbor and then flown to Ryder Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.
- D 27 Feb 2007 Longview News-Journal (TX) “Lufkin Man Dies in Boat Accident” reports Bobby Ran Malnar Jr., age 43, was thrown from his boat when it hit a log jam on the Neches River in Cherokee Country on Saturday Feb 24th. His body was found early Sunday and “had head injuries consistent with striking an engine propeller”. He was being followed in another boat by his brother when the accident happened. Reports indicated he was going about 15 mph when the boat went airborne at a hard right angle to the river bank.
- 27 Feb 2007 KCCI(channel 8 DesMoines IA) “WDNM Man Talks of Recovery From Brain Injury” reports an update on the recovery of Brad Buckely who was injured by a propeller in July 2006. “The propeller completely chewed my skull up, and I guess they had to cut away part of my brain because it was just chewed up. So I don’t have a skull here,” he said. He still goes to a rehab center at least twice a week. In future weeks, he will have an operation to put a plate in his head. Memory, speech and motor skill have been hard for him to get back but he does have a good attitude.
- 26 Feb 2007 Star-Telegram (Fort Worth TX) “Family Hopes Loss Will Bring Change” reports an update on the family of Britteny Sage Lindt, a 15 year old teenage girl killed by a propeller on August 18, 2006 at Lake Lewisville. She was run over by an 18 foot boat and struck by its propeller after she fell from a tube being pulled by a PWC. The family has started a non-profit organization to make boating safer and more specifically to reduce the deaths of young people. The group is called the Britteny Sage Lindt Fund.
- D 21 Feb 2007 Sidney Morning Herald (Australia) “Brave Adam’s Last Loving Gesture” reports Adam Day, a 14 year old Ulladulla High School student, was paddling with his younger sister on a float on the NSW South Coast at Lake Conjola near Ulladulla about 20 meters of offshore of the lake’s Killareny beach on Sunday morning 18 February. A speedboat had dropped off waterskiers and was approaching shore when he pushed his sister to safety just before the boat ran over him. He “died instantly in the horrific accident”. “Adam was hit by the boat’s propeller, receiving head and neck injuries.” “Water Police detectives said they had seized the boat’s propeller for examination”.
- 16 Feb 2007 Chattanoogan.com (TN) “Patient Tribute to Focus on Young Philanthropist at Siskinn Luncheon” reports
an update on Jordan Thomas, now a senior at McCallie School. He will be featured as the annual patient profile at a Hospital fund raiser luncheon honoring a former patient whose life is a testament that one can excel beyond disability to lead a creative and fulfilling life.” He was scuba diving in the Florida Keys on 16 August 2005 when a boat wake pushed him behind the boat where both his legs were hit by the prop. Three surguries later he had lost both legs from the calf down. He has since organized a foundation to raise money for young children that cannot afford a prosthesis.
- 14 Feb 2007 The West Australian (Australia) “Swimmer Drowns at Cottlesloe” reports on a drowning, then mentions also finding the leg of a man severed by a boat propeller in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbor yesterday (13 Feb.). It was believed the man whose right leg was severed below the knee may have been training a local event, the Rottnest Swim.
- 11 Feb 2007 CDNN (Cyber Diver News Network) “Diver’s Skull Fractured by Dive Boat Propeller” reports from Sidney Australia that a 41 year old male diver was struck in the head by the propeller of a dive boat about 10 am this morning near the entrance of Shelley Beach while resurfacing. He was airlifted to Gosford Hospital, then carried by “NRMA CareFlight helicopter to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney for emergency neurosurgery.”
Other reports indicate the man was from Lilli Pilli, in Sydney’s south.
- D 2 Feb 2007 ChicoER (California) “Lake Oroville Boating Death Charges Reduced to Misdemeanors” reports an update on the 6 Oct 2006 Lake Oroville propeller accident that claimed the
life of Daniel Lee Burkette, age 22 of Torrance. He fell from the bow of a ski boat when it turned to pickup a wakeboarder and was “sucked under the propellers.” One of his legs was nearly severed and he “sustained massive injuries to his head and chest.” The boat operator had been charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. A Butte County Superior Court Judge reduced the three criminal charges to misdemeanors based on the defendant’s age, lack of a prior record, and a letter from the victim’s family stating they did not feel criminal prosecution was warranted.
- D 31 Jan 2007 HardBeatNews.Com (Caribbean / Bahamas) “Bahamians Charged With Death Of UK Toddler” reports an update on the three Bahamian men who were operating a speedboat in the Bahamas in August 2005. A young two year old boy, Paul Gallagher, was sleeping in a beach chair on the beach when their boat soared into the air, landed on the beach, and injured Paul with the propeller. He died 5 days later. Bahamian authorities orginally ruled the death an accident, but now under pressure, the government has scheduled the men to appear in Nassau on April 13th to determine if the case will go to trial.
- 27 Jan 2007 Sun-Sentinel (Florida) “Bahamian Boat Captain Pleads Guilty to Murder in Smuggling Deaths reports an update on the three drowned women that washed ashore back on 5 November 2005. The alleged smuggler ordered his passengers to jump from the boat in the dark while several hundred feet off shore. “The propeller struck one man causing severe injuries and three others drowned”. The boat operator is to be sentenced April 6th. Note – other sources say the person injured by the propeller was a woman and is referred to in court documents as “Y.F.”
- D 26 Jan 2007 The Arizona Republic “Tests Prove Boat Drivers Sober” reports on a Lake Havasu crash that occurred back on 3 June 2006. Toxicology reports have shown the operators of both boats to have been sober at the time of the collision. David George Ramsey was killed when the boats collided about 3:20 pm. His body was recovered 13 days later. The sherrif’s report said he “died from injuries consistent with multiple propeller strikes from a watercraft.”
- D 19 Jan 2007 The Daily Telegraph (Australia) “Water Skier Killed by Boat Propeller” reports an accident at Balcolyn near Shingle Splitters Point on Lake Macquarie about 9:55 am today in which a 51 year old woman from Victoria was waterskiing, fell, the boat circled to pick her up, she was struck by the prop which slashed her abdomnen and leg, went into cardiac arrest, and died at the scene. Several family members were in the boat at the time. Police believe the boat was in gear when the accident occurred.
- 8 Jan 2007 Shephard Rotorhub (UK helicopter online publication) “UK: Life Saving Rescue Leads to New Backer for Essex Air Ambulance” reports a Chelmsford man injured in a July 2005 boating accident will be reunited with his helicopter crew and paramedics, plus his employers will donate a van to the air ambulance service. The accident happened off Wes Mersea in Essex when Mr. Patient received “appalling injuries from the propeller of a high speed motor boat.” He was in danger of death if he had not received rapid transport to . He was in the hospital for two weeks and unable to return to work for 5 months.
The actual meeting of Mr. Patient and the crews was later reported in the 11 Jan 2007 issue of the Dunmow Broadcast & Recorder.
- 5 Jan 2007 The Australian “Boat Driver Fined $1200 After Woman’s River Death” reports the driver of a boat involved in a December 14, 2005 propeller accident at Paradise Point on the Coomera River has been fined $1200 for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol during the loss of life of his passenger, Sandy Crellin, who fell in and hit her head on the twin propellers of a 10 meter Mustang boat about 10:30pm AEST.
D 29 June 2007 South China Morning Post (China) “Speedboat Driver Guilty of Swimmer’s Death” reports a District Court Judge found the driver of a boat towing a bannana boat that struck and killed Lau Wah-fai, age 66, with its propeller (the prop on the tow boat) guilty of endangering the lives of others at sea by not keeping a proper lookout. The accident happened about 3:15 pm on 19 August 2006 on Clear Water Bay. The driver is expected to be sentenced today.