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Three boys in a sailing class at Centerport Yacht Club on the north side of Long Island, New York were out sailing in Northport Harbor Tuesday afternoon 18 July, 2017. Their boat was capsized on purpose as part of a man overboard exercise. Two of the boys stayed with the sailboat. The third boy was picked up by an 18 year old sailing instructor on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat).

When the boat operator began to gradually accelerate the boat, the boy fell overboard and was fatally injured by the propeller.

Details are still sketchy, but some accounts say his life jacket was entrapped in the propeller and he was struck in the chest by the propeller.

The 18 year old instructor was able to get the boy back in the boat and performed CPR on him.

One news report mentioned the yacht club instructors were all trained in CPR.

The injured boy, from Northport, was taken to Huntington Hospital where he died.

Propeller guards are sometimes used to prevent youth sailing propeller accidents such as this one. We talk further about their use near the bottom of this post.

The instructed that performed CPR on the boy suffered shock and was taken to the hospital.

The boat was a Zodiac powered by a Yamaha outboard motor.

Centerport Yacht Club RIB involved in the accident

Centerport Yacht Club RIB involved in the accident
An Associated Press image

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Ten people were onboard a 21 foot Ski Nautique on Lake Gage in Steuben County Indiana about 7:15pm Saturday July 15, 2017. Dominique Effinger a 20 year old female was operating the boat. The boat took a hard turn and all ten people on board were ejected.

The unmanned boat went into the Circle of Death at an estimated 30 mph with ten people in the water.

A quote from the Journal Gazette perhaps best describes the chaos.

Journal Gazette
16 July 2016
 

“Several seriously injured people were taken to shore by local citizens’ boats so EMS and fire units could tend to the injuries, the statement said. It said two people were flown to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne with injuries including a skull fracture and a partial lower-arm amputation. Others less seriously hurt were taken to Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola.
 
Conservation Officer Jake Carlile launched a Department of Natural Resources patrol boat as county sheriff’s deputies urged residents to move their boats and clear the area, the statement said. It said the unmanned 21-foot Ski Nautique motorboat was coming closer to boats and docks with each circle.
 
Carlile threw a rope from the patrol boat to entangle the motorboat’s propeller, the statement said. It said the boat then struck a dock and changed direction, striking the back of the patrol boat and disabling the patrol boat’s motor.
 
The rope slowed the motorboat, the statement said, and Carlile used a nearby personal watercraft to jump onto the runaway boat while both were in motion. He then brought the motorboat to a stop.”

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U.S Coast Guard has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) reenacting the June 1994 accident on Table Rock Lake in Missouri that maimed Phyllis Kopyto and claimed the lives of her husband Bob Kopytko and of their fishing guide, Paul Brundridge. Phyllis speaks over the reenactment video.


USCG Kopytko kill switch PSA

USCG Kopytko kill switch PSA



The video is very forceful.
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The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) “Get Connected” campaign, funded by a U.S. Coast Guard grant, encourages boat operators to connect the kill switch / engine stop switch.

The purpose of connecting the kill switch lanyard / engine stop switch or using a virtual lanyard is to cause the boat to stop if the operator is ejected. Unmanned outboard motor boats underway tend to circle in the Circle of Death, repeatedly striking striking those in the water with the propeller.

In some instances stern drive or outboard powered boats can just run on down the lake leaving those in the water with no chance of reboarding and no visual indicator to others of their presence in the water. They may drown or be run over by other vessels.

We found one of NSBC images particularly striking and will comment on it below.

Get Connected hand image

Get Connected hand image


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Hunter Bland and Conner Young of the University of Florida Bass Fishing team were ejected from their bass boat at speed during a Collegiate tournament in January 2017.

A steering system failure caused the boat to abruptly turn to the right. Hunter was operating the boat and had the kill switch lanyard attached. Both young men were wearing life jackets.

Today, July 10, 2017 the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) released a great kill switch Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring Hunter Bland.

Kill Switch PSA: NSBC & Hunter Bland


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Katlyn & Patrick Oliver image created from a TDTNews image

Katlyn & Patrick Oliver
image created from a TDTNews image

Earlier, we covered the accident in which Patrick and his daughter Katlyn Oliver were swimming behind a houseboat on their way back to shore.


Katlyn Oliver, 4, killed by houseboat propeller on Lake Belton in Texas
.

They were returning to shore after Katyln’s first boat ride. The house boat engines were started and reversed, Katyln was entangled in the propeller, Patrick tried to rescue her put both his legs were cut off by the propeller.

Gibson houseboat in the Katlyn Oliver accident photo bty Brady Carrol in KTEM

Gibson houseboat in the Katlyn Oliver accident
photo bty Brady Carrol in KTEM

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Katlyn Oliver

Katlyn Oliver

Katlyn Oliver, 4, was swimming behind a houseboat at Temple Lake Park, on Belton Lake near Fort Hood Army base in Texas.

On Monday 26 June KWTX reports Katlyn and her father were swimming back to shore after taking a ride in another boat. Katlyn was excited and anxious to tell others about her first boat ride. They were in about waist deep water in the area behind the houseboat.

Katlyn, wearing a life jacket, become entangled in a houseboat propeller as it was backing up. Her father, Patrick Oliver tried to rescue her. Both his legs were amputated.

Authorities were called for help at Temple Lake Park at 6:47pm Friday evening 23 June, 2017.

Katlyn and her father were taken to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple Texas. She died at 7:45 pm, about an hour after being struck by the propeller.


Update – Katlyn’s father Patrick Oliver died Thursday morning 6 July, 2017 from his injuries.

See our separate post on his death.


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Yu Chen

Yu Chen

Yu Chen, 43, an accomplished wakesurfer (Sail Surfer) was teaching lessons on Lake Mendota in Wisconsin about 6 pm Wednesday 31 May 2017. The University of Wisconsin maintains a Lifesaving Station on the lake. Their boat was returning from a rescue to Governors Island when Yu Chen was struck between the UW LifeSaving Station and Edgewater Hotel.

The accident is under investigation. Among the agencies involved are Dane County Sheriff’s Office, University Police, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Yu Chen was struck by a University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station Boat. He was thought to have been wearing a GPS watch on his left arm which was severed from his body during the accident.

While the accident is still under investigation, media reports indicate he was struck in the neck by the propeller and his left arm was severed by the propeller.

Three people were thought to have been onboard the rescue boat.

The people on the rescue boat tried to help Chen, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More→

Deputy Devin Hodges of Anderson South Carolina Sheriff’s Office drowned while entrapped on a boat propeller on Lake Hartwell, 1 June 2017. We previously covered the accident at Deputy killed by boat propeller.

As a well liked young man, serving in law enforcement, leaving behind a wife and four young children, there has been a tremendous outpouring of compassion and support from the community and from the law enforcement community around the country.

His funeral will be at the Anderson Civic Center at 1 pm today (Tuesday 6 June 2017).

Anderson Independent Mail published a great article on the upcoming funeral. Most points below have been gleaned from that article.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster spoke in Anderson yesterday (Monday) and ordered flags across South Carolina to half mast on Tuesday in honor of Deputy Hodges. Read More→

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) in South Carolina was conducting on water training exercises in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on Lake Hartwell in the Singing Pines Recreational area near Starr South Carolina on Thursday 1 June 2017. ACSO Deputy Devin Hodges and another ACSO person were on a USACE boat thought to have been being operated by a USACE participant in the training exercise.

An accident investigation is underway. For yet to be determined or released reasons, all three people on board were ejected from the 19 foot Pioneer patrol boat. The boat unmanned circled in the Circle of Death and Officer Devin Hodges was fatally struck by the propeller.

Deputy Devin Hodges

Deputy Devin Hodges

Some reports say he was struck in the head. Read More→