Media coverage of 2017 recreational boat propeller accidents.

If you are aware of coverage of a 2017 propeller accident that is not reported here, please contact us.

Fatal accidents are coded immediately in front of the reporting data as:

D indicates a U.S. fatality

D indicates a fatality outside the U.S.


  • D 15 June accident – 17 June 2017 Hawaii News Now (Hawaii) “Army Colonel Killed in Waianae Boating Accident Remembered for Infectious Laugh” reports U.S. Army Colonel Kirk Slaughter, 49, was swimming with his daughter about 7 am Thursday Morning 15 June near Waianae Boat Harbor. A 21 foot fishing boat with twin propellers struck him. He was killed by the boat’s propellers. The propeller guard discussion brought about by the death of Sri Shim back in January 2016 has been rekindled by this recent accident.
  • D 13 June accident – 14 June 2017 US News “Coroner: Boater Killed by Propeller After Falling Overboard” reports from Biloxi, Mississippi than William Melton, 77, fell from his boat when he went around a bend in the Tchoutacabouffa River. He was the only person onboard. The boat went into the Circle of Death. Witnesses said the boat circled twice. He was killed by the propeller. WLOX later reported William Melton was wearing a life jacket, the vessel did not have a kill switch, the boat circled repeatedly striking him with the propeller. He died from extensive injuries to his head and extremities. Other reports say he was struck in the head by the propeller after the boat circled him twice.
  • 11 June accident – 16 June 2017 The Leaf Chronicle (Tennessee) “Boating Accident Leaves Erin Woman With Severe Arm Injury” reports from Erin Tennessee, that Summer “Lexie” Norfleet, 20, was a passenger on a Personal WaterCraft (PWC) about 4:30pm June 11th in the Danville area of Kentucky Lake in Houston County. Both onboard the PWC fell off in front of a pontoon boat. “Lexie” was struck by the propeller. She was life flighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Lexi is a College Junior on the softball team for Northern Alabama University.
  • D 10 June accident – 11 June 2017 WSAU (Wisconsin) “Man Identified in Fatal Boat Accident in Tomahawk” reports Justin “J.J.” Kimmons, 23 year old male from Irma Wisconsin, was in a boat going West on the Wisconsin River at Tomahawk on Saturday 10 June. The boat’s engine quit running near the 4th street bridge. Those on board were concerned the boat would drift/crash into the pier or shoreline. J.J. Kimmons jumped in to prevent the boat from hitting the dock. The boat operator was able to get the boat engine re-started, Kimmons was fatally struck by the propeller. J.J. Kimmons was then taken to the north shore of the river where paramedics and EMS units arrived, but he was declared dead at the scene. PropellerSafety comment – this accident appears to bear similarities to two other types of propeller accidents; (1) beached houseboats drifting toward rocks being restarted to keep them from drifting into rocks while people are still in the water behind the vessel, (2) boat stuck on a sandbar, people jump in or arrive to help try to free from the sandbar while an operator is running the engine trying to push it off the sandbar.
  • 4 June accident – 5 June 2017 EagleCountyOnline (Indiana) “Air Care Called After Woman Gets Struck by Boat Propeller” reports Megan Schlade, 37 from North Carolina, was in Brookville Lake in Franklin County about 3:30pm Sunday 4 June when “the propeller of a boat collided with her lower extremity.” First responders gathered at Garr Hill Boat Ramp and she was life flighted to University of Cincinnati Medial Center.
  • D 1 June 2017 accident WYFF4 – 1 June 2017 (Greenville South Carolina) “Deputy Dies After Falling out of Boat, Getting Hit by Propeller During Training Exercise, DNR Says” reports Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Devin Hodges, 30, along with two other people from the Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were on Lake Hartwell on Thursday 1 June 2017 for a training exercise. All on board were ejected, the boat circled in the Circle of Death, Officer Hodges was fatally struck by the propeller. 911 calls started about 9:30 am. Everybody was wearing life jackets. Early reports are not sure why they were ejected. Independent Mail reports it was a joint training exercise with USACE. Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and USACE both use Pioneer patrol boats about 19 feet in length. The three people were all ejected from one boat. In addition to Mr. Hodges who was dead on arrival at the hospital, two others were transported to be treated for shock. It sounds like the boat they were ejected from was a USACE boat. Details are still sketchy.
  • ******** Memorial Day Weekend ends Monday 29 May 2017 ***********

  • 28 May accident – 14 June 2017 Fox2 (St. Louis Missouri) “Boy Injured in Horrifying Boating Accident Goes Home” reports Ashton Yates, 11, fell from the boat and the propeller shredded a nerve in his leg. He came home from the hospital today (17 days later).
  • About 28 June 2017 accident – 3 June 2017 Houston Chronicle (Texas) “Memorial Day Weekend on Texas Waters Safer Than Usual” reports a person “suspected of being intoxicated fell out of the front of a pontoon boat and was struck in the legs by the boat’s propeller” on an East Texas Reservoir over Memorial Day Weekend. The specific date was not provided. It is possible this is the same accident as listed below, however officials specifically noted the one below did not appear to involve alcohol, plus this one left the scene which was not mentioned with the one below. Game wardens also noted the increased number of paddle craft incidents (search, rescue, accidents, fatalities) over the weekend.
  • 27 May 2017 accident – 31 May 2017 Gainsville Register (Texas) “Denton County Man Injured After Falling Off Boat” reports about 2:30pm Saturday 27 May Memorial Day Weekend, a Denton County Texas man in his 30s was sitting on the bow of a pontoon boat on Ray Roberts Lake, about 20 miles south of Gainsville. While getting up to go to the seating area, he slipped, fell overboard, the boat passed over him, and he was struck by the propeller. The man received severe lacerations to his face and other wounds during this pontoon boat bow riding propeller accident. A game warden noted he was not wearing a life jacket. She said one would have protected his body.
  • 27 May 2017 accident – 31 May 2017 Brainerd Dispatch (Minnesota) “Boat Incident Sends Teen to Hospital” reports a father and two of his sons were boating on Bass Lakes (part of Perquot Lakes) on Saturday 27 May. The 18 year old son was operating the boat when the 12 year old son, Gabriel L. Rogers of Roseville, “became frightened and jumped out of the boat.” The propeller then cut the leg of the boy that jumped out. His father transported him to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. The accident was reported about 12:30pm.
  • ******** Memorial Day Weekend Begins Friday 26 May 2017 **********

  • Early May accident – 16 May 2017 Texas Game Warden Field Notes “Prop Scar” reports “Comal County game wardens were called to the scene of a boating accident at Cranes Mill Marina on Canyon Lake where a 19-year-old male was struck by a boat propeller when he jumped in the lake unexpectedly to relieve himself. The individual was struck on his left shin and calf and received a significant laceration requiring medical transport to University Hospital in San Antonio.”
  • 30 March accident – 30 March 2017 CBS12 Boca Raton Florida “Coast Guard Rescues Diver Struck by Boat Propeller” reports a diver on the diving charter boat, Lady Go Diver, “was struck by a moving propeller while in the water.” About 3pm 30 March a nearby rescue helicopter was diverted to about half a mile off shore of northeast Boca Raton. The male diver was life flighted to Delray Medical Center.
  • 17 March accident in the Solomon Islands – 20 March 2017 Solomon Star News “Two Killed in Boating Tragedy” reports a 40 horsepower canoe and a 60 horsepower canoe collided in the dark Friday night 17 March close to Kukudu Adventist College about 7 to 8 pm. The vessels had been approaching each other head on in the dark. One turned in the final seconds and the other broadsided it. A young mother was killed by the collision. They have been unable to recover the body of a teenage boy. The young mothers husband was operating one of the canoes. He was struck by a propeller while trying to protect his son.
  • 26 February accident in Mexico – 27 February 2017 The Yucatan Times “American Tourist Struck by Boat Propeller While Swimming in Cozumel” reports Hugh Solberg, 79 year old tourist from Minnesota, was swimming in the North Zone of Cozumel when he was struck by the propeller of “The Oyster”. Mr. Solberg suffered injuries to his legs and right arm. He was picked up by ambulance near the Aqua Safari pier. Photos show him injured at the pier on a boat powered by twin Yamaha outboards, but it is unclear if that is the boat that struck him or not.
  • 26 February accident in South Africa – 28 February 2017 You.co “Girl Injured by Boat Propeller in Langebaan Lagoon” reports a yacht was stuck on a sandbar at the entrance to Mykonos Harbor on Sunday 26 February. Two semi-rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) were trying to tow the yacht from the sandbar. As they pulled the yacht loose, the family onboard one of those RIBS was ejected and the boat went into the Circle of Death. As the boat circled the three people (father, son, daughter) in the water, the other RIB and a PWC tried to help. However, the 10 year old girl was struck by the propeller. She was taken to Vredenburg Hospital.
  • D? February 2017 fatality in France – 22 February 2017 The Sun “Headless Body Washes Up on English Channel Beach in Northern France” reports a dog walker found a corpse the afternoon of Tuesday February 21st. The headless, decomposed body is thought to have possibly encountered a boat propeller in the busy shipping lane. The deceased may be a migrant.
  • 16 February 2017 body found – 3 March 2017 leg found – NewJersey dot com “Parts of Human Skeleton Found at Park Along Delaware River” also reports a leg was found Friday 3 March in National Park. It is thought to have belonged to a man that suicide jumped from a Schuylkill River bridge. Both his legs were later severed from his body by a boat propeller. His body was found 16 February per another 3 March story in NJ dot com
  • 12 February accident – 12 February 2017 CountOn2 “Boat Propeller Injury in Punta Gorada Hospitalizes Teen” reports a seventeen year old girl fell from a boat “and was pulled into the propeller” on the Peace River at Darst Park in Punta Gorda Forida on Sunday 12 February. She was life flighted to Bayfront Health in Punta Gorda, then on to Lee Memorial Hospital.
  • D 10 February UK accident – 10 February 2017 Manchester Evening News (UK) “Body Found in Canal Had Become Entangled in Propeller of Water Taxi” reports a body became entangled on the propeller of water taxi on the Bridgewater Canal near Trafford Wharf Road in Manchester on Friday morning 10 February. The engine died when the body was struck. Police are investigating. The deceased man was later identified as Ian Nally, missing from nearby since 7 January.
  • 5 February 2017 accident in New Zealand – 6 February 2017 Stuff (New Zealand) “Teen Girl Injured After Inflatable Overturns on Lake Karapiro” reports three people were ejected when an inflatable flipped over about 7:50pm 5 February on Lake Karapiro. The group had been water skiing. The three people then tried to turn the inflatable boat back over. During that process, a 19 year old girl’s leg was cut by the propeller. The outboard motor was not running at that time. The girl had a deep gash in her leg and required hospital treatment.
  • D 4 February 2017 accident in Australia – 5 February 2017 Daily Mail (U.K. paper) “You are my soulmate in this life and the next” reports Matthew Price and his wife Amy were on the Murray River near Ravenswood Australia with friends on Saturday 4 February. About 2 pm they were on a 7.92 meter cabin cruiser (26 foot) powered by two outboard motors. Somehow Mr. Price was critically wounded by a propeller. He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital (other reports say he was first taken to Peel Health Campus, then life flighted to Royal Perth Hospital). Matthew Price died from his injuries Sunday 6 February. The accident is being investigated.
  • D Late January 2017 accident off Yemen – 8 February 2017 Business Standard “Eight Somali Boat Refugees Perish Off Yemen” reports on an accident off the southern coast of Yemen in late January involving a refugee boat. A woman fell overboard and died from a propeller gash to her head. Seven men drowned in the same accident. They died while boarding a human smugglers boat. As they were boarding, a Yemeni coast guard boat approached and the smuggler’s abruptly boat took off

Previous Year – 2016 Boat Propeller Accidents


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