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This report is of a near miss propeller propeller accident that could have been avoided if the operator had been wearing a kill switch per Canadian authorities.

It also points out the dangers of hypothermia while boating in cold waters that were stressed in the recent NBSAC meeting.

Thursday night, 23 March 2017, a family of four were boating on Cowichan Bay off Vancouver Island, Canada.

While trying to pull up a crab pot, the two male adults and a 2 year old boy were ejected from the boat when one man inadvertently bumped the throttle, leaving a 5 year old girl and a dog on board.

Only the children were wearing life jackets.

The 5 meter boat spun in the Circle of Death at full speed in the cold water. Read More→

Fell Marine will be showing their new wireless lanyard, the MOB+ at the Bassmaster Classic in Houston March 24-26, 2017.

We previously covered the MOB+ at MOB+ wireless lanyard from Fell Marine.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

We commend Fell Marine for exhibiting their new wireless kill switch at the Classic. The Bassmaster Classic is a tremendous family friendly free event. Catch as much of it as you can and drop by Fell Marine’s booth at the Expo. If you can’t make it there, you can watch some of it online at Bassmaster.com.

Earlier we created and posted maps of the Bassmaster Classic sites in Houston and Lake Conroe attendees will find useful.

Below is a portion of Fell Marine’s press release:


Fell Marine logo

Fell Marine logo

The most exciting bass fishing event and the most innovative boat safety product come together next week at the 47th annual Bassmaster Classic. FELL Marine will be showcasing their wireless engine kill switch, the MOB+ at the Classic EXPO. Attendees are encouraged to visit FELL Marine at Booth 417 to see the future of marine kill switches. The FELL Marine Team will be on hand to talk about boat safety, explain how the MOB+ works and show how easy the MOB+ can be installed into your boat with all engine configurations. The MOB+ will be available for purchase, and attendees can register at FELL’s booth to win one of several MOB+ Basepacks they will be giving away during the event.

What is the MOB+? A wireless engine kill switch that installs with ease into your boat and can replace or work in tandem with a boat’s current manual kill switch. In order to get people to wear safety devices without compromising their style, look, and comfort, great design is imperative. But behind great design lies great technology. The MOB+ uses the proprietary WiMEA Protocol developed by FELL Marine. With its lightning-fast reaction time, 4D Antenna Diversity and AutoMOB features, it is like no other wireless protocol out there. By using state-of-the-art electronics and UniqueID technology, the MOB+ does not interfere with existing systems in the boat and will not be affected by other adjacent wireless systems. AutoMOB stops the engine automatically if the pilot falls over board and allows remaining passengers to restart the engine after 6 seconds to pick up the person in the water. The system can be universally installed in all boats with all engine configurations with simple plug-and-play connections.

The Bassmaster Classic is an event like no other in the industry, which features 52 of the world’s best bass anglers competing for more than $1 million on Lake Conroe, about an hour outside of Houston, Texas. The on the water event is complimented by the EXPO at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Arguably the largest event of its kind in the country, which exhibits the latest in bass fishing equipment and outdoor gear.

The FELL Marine Team looks forward to meeting as many attendees as possible and introducing the MOB+ to the bass fishing community.

Bassmaster Classic EXPO Hours
FRI, March 24, 2017 12 PM – 8 PM CT
SAT, March 25, 2017 10 AM – 7 PM CT
SUN, March 26, 2017 10 AM – 4 PM CT

About FELL Marine Inc.
FELL Marine Inc. (www.fellmarine.com) is a subsidiary of FELL Group AS. FELL Group AS is incorporated in Norway, and its principal subsidiary is located in the US. FELL, FELL Marine, WiMEA, AutoMOB and UniqueID are trademarks of FELL AS and/or its subsidiaries.

Representatives from marinas, boat manufacturers and marine stores are invited to stop by and talk to the FELL Marine team to be added to their growing dealer network.


Matthew Meinert and son Oliver just before they took off Star-Telegram image

Matthew Meinert and son Oliver just before they took off
Star-Telegram image

On Monday, 6 March 2017, Matthew Meinert, 38 of Trophy Club Texas, and his two year old son, Oliver, went fishing in Denton Creek near Lake Grapevine in the Fort Worth – Dallas Texas area. Matthew Meinert was last seen Monday near Lake Grapevine.

Matthew and Oliver launched their boat about 5 pm Monday from Tropy Club boat ramp.

Between 5 and 6 pm Monday a boater found his boat on shore abandoned on Denton Creek just west of Highway 377 in what was referred to an an unusual location. The boater used the cell phone to call the family, then called 911.

Meinert's boat as found on shore clipped from a Fox 4 image

Meinert’s boat as found on shore
clipped from a Fox 4 image

His cell phone and life jackets were found with the boat.

A search and rescue effort was mounted Monday night. The search was called off at 2am for safety, and restarted at 9am Tuesday. As a Flower Mound police officer and a game warden were headed to the boat on Tuesday morning about 8:45am, they saw two year old boy, Oliver, walking though heavy brush. He had survived being alone and cold in the woods overnight in a t-shirt and shorts with all kinds of wildlife nearby. Oliver was scratched up and cold but safe, and asked the officers for juice. He was taken to the Cooks Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth to be check out, and found to be fine. Read More→

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be holding its 97th meeting on March 23-25, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.

Their March 2, 2018 notice in the Federal Register invited public comments, due by March 6th if they were to be distributed in advance to NBSAC members.

We submitted a pubic comment, our recent Propeller Safety dot com post on our updated design chart for preventing outboard motors from breaking off and flipping into boats when striking floating or submerged objects.

We used a cover letter to point out NBSACs own discovery of this problem as retold in the NBSAC95 minutes and attached a copy of our design chart post. Read More→

Aiden Mckitrick and his mom clipped from WFAA video

Aiden Mckitrick and his mom
clipped from WFAA video

Back on May 5, 2016, three year old Aiden McKitrick fell from the front of a pontoon boat and was entrapped on the propeller.
We posted coverage of his accident at that time.

Now (early March 2017) about ten months after Aiden’s accident on Lake Ray Hubbard in Texas, his mother is speaking out with a warning to parents.

WFAA (ABC channel 8 of Dallas, Texas), carried her story in a 2 March 2017 newscast. The news story is accompanied by an emotional video in which she tries to alert others of how her son was nearly killed by pontoon boat propeller.

Aiden’s mother, Kelly Mckitrick, is a nurse and his father is a firefighter. His father helped extract him from the propeller, and his mother has played the role that only a mother can in his recovery.

His mom says, “When they raised the propeller up that’s when my husband saw his intestines hanging out and his leg was mangled.” Read More→

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council met for its regularly scheduled NBSAC 95 meeting April 21-23, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.

Minutes of that meeting were posted in October 2016.

We have spent considerable effort in recent years encouraging NBSAC to:

  1. Recognize outboard motors are breaking off and entering boats with their propellers still running after striking floating or submerged objects, and that this accident scenario is often associated with bass boats.
  2. Increase awareness level of this accident scenario

As we recently closely read the April 2016 NBSAC meeting minutes we noticed they did mention this accident scenario, but they described it in a manner we have never seen or heard before.
We find that quite odd, since several members of the committee and other industry representatives present were well associated with the problem.

NBSAC 95 minutes composite

NBSAC 95 minutes composite

The image above is a composite of pages 1,7, and 8 of the minutes. Read More→

Back in July 2016, we posted a chart for use in designing and testing outboard motors in a way to prevent them from breaking off and entering boats when striking submerged objects.

Today we are posting an updated / enhanced version of that chart. The new chart specifically identifies three more potential design / testing paths to achieve the objective.

Flip In Design Chart

Flip In Design Chart


Read More→

To: Fell Marine
From: PropellerSafety.com
15 February 2017

We were thrilled to see your entry into the wireless lanyard / kill switch market in the United States.
We recently posted coverage of your MOB+ device after which I dropped you an email asking you contact us after the Miami International Boat Show in response to a few questions we had. My email quickly received an automatic response and yeterday we were contacted by a gentleman in Norway who included a couple others in the email conversation, including a gentleman in the U.S. The email was very informative and inviting to learn more about your product.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

We will visit with you after the boat show about our questions specific to MOB+, but thought of several more general topics related to kill switches we would like to share with you that might be of interest to others as well. So I posted this portion of my conversation with you here as an open letter on the topic.

Much of the content of this email will come from some of our previous posts on these topics. Read More→

We have been following the rising waters in California which the industry was first touting for the additional sales it would generate as many lakes had been down a while depressing marine sales there.

Now as waters continue to rise, California faced/faces continuing issues at the Lake Oroville Lake spillway evacuation, and now the United States Coast Guard is said to be planing to issue a debris warning for San Francisco Bay today.

ABC News 7 of San Francisco released a video when they learned of the debris warning planning to be issued Wednesday 15 February. They note much debris is still floating down into the bay from the Sacramento Delta.

We cover the hazards of marine drives striking floating debris on PropellerSafety.com including the possibility of outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats while still under power when striking floating debris at speed.

We suspect high waters will increase debris in many California waters, especially impacting bass tournament fishing. We encourage everybody to be extra safe out there and lookout for debris.

We will post the debris warning when it is released.

Meanwhile, Pressure-Drop, a sailing forum, has some great satellite, aerial, and on water photos of the status of the region. The also have a nice discussion of flow rates at the bridges and how and why they differ at the surface near bridges.

Fell Marine will be showing MOB+, their wireless kill switch at the Miami International Boat Show this week per their 8 February 2017 press release. They will be in the Fugawi Software booth and have two center console boats on the water in Mag Bay Yachts slips.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB is a popular nautical abbreviation for Man OverBoard.

Fell Marine has partnered with Mag Bay Yachts of Adelanto to install MOB+ on all their future boats.

Fell Marine is a subsidiary of a Norwegian firm, Fell Group AS.

Fell Marine’s MOB+ literature repeatedly touts its electronics do not interfere with existing systems on your boat or other wireless systems.

They say their product brings style, design, and comfort to this market, and their system can be restarted by those remaining on board just 6 seconds after someone has been ejected. Read More→

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