Archive for April 2013

Casey Schulman

Casey Schulman

Casey Schulman, a University of Virginia (UVA) student, was killed December 1, 2012 by the propeller of an excursion vessel in Dominica while on a UVA “Semester at Sea” program. We covered the accident at Student Killed by Propeller in Dominica.

As is frequently the case at water tourism destination sites outside the U.S., the Schulman family feels their daughter’s death has not been sufficiently investigated and appropriate actions have not been taken against those they feel are responsible.

We have seen this play out countless times before. The 2000 Kirsty MacColl accident in Mexico, the 2002 Paul Gallagher (age 2 of the UK) accident in the Bahamas, the 2007 Quesnel & Laso (of Spain) accidents in Trinidad & Tobago, 2007 Rebecca Stockwell/Crowell (of New Zealand) accident in Fiji, and the 2009 Paige Welch (age 13) accident in Trinidad & Tobaggo are just few examples of families that struggled for years in attempts to extract answers and justice from destinations where tourism is big money and local officials have “reasons” not to rock the boat. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Sarah Roderick

Sarah Roderick

Sarah Marie Roderick, age 8 of Cottonwood Arizona, was on Lake Havasu in a rented pontoon boat on Monday afternoon April 21, 2013. About 3:40pm her father was driving the 24 foot 2000 Premier pontoon boat with his wife and their four children aboard. They were at the Salt Basin area in Mohave County and proceeding north slowly. The child, Sarah, was wearing a life jacket and riding at the bow. She fell overboard, the boat passed over her, and she was struck by the propeller.

Lake Havasu firefighters and a life flight helicopter arrived to assist, but Sarah Marie Roderick was pronounced dead at the beach.

Officials noted alcohol died not appear to be a factor in the accident. They also said the lifeflight helicopter arrived about 15 minutes before the vessel made it to shore. That leads us to suspect her injuries were very severe.

Sarah Roderick’s obituary reports the young girl was interested in soccer, piano, science, art, reading, AWANA (a Christian youth organization), and American Girls. Read More→

We have seen some inspiring video/music tributes to deceased boat propeller accident victims as well as some songs written in their honor, and videos of deceased victims performing. We gathered some of those works to this page.

Charlie Hutton

Charlie Hutton 2011 Whitgift Field Hockey Team

Charlie Hutton on 2011 Whitgift Field Hockey Team

Charlie Hutton, a 14 year old boy in the UK, was fatally struck in July 2012. Charlie is just left of front center in the photo. We covered his accident at Charlie Hutton, Boy Killed by Boat Propeller Near Isle of Wight Needles. One of his older brothers, Sam Hutton, is a budding musician in the U.K. Sam previously recorded a song titled, “Rescued”. He rewrote the lyrics a little and performed it at his Charlie’s memorial service. Sam plans to professionally record the song and use it to raise funds for the RNLI, but until then, he shares this version recorded in his bedroom. Read More→

0 Categories : Memorials

Families and friends of propeller accident victims have memorialized their loved ones in many ways. Among the most popular ways is creating a website or FaceBook page in their memory. Another way is creating audio visual presentations of their life, some of which are used at funerals. Funerals themselves are a way we memorialize our loved ones.

Still others have:

  • Purchased or sponsored a park bench in their honor
  • Written or performed songs
  • Funded scholarships in the name of their loved one
  • Created t-shirts
  • Created a slogan to honor their victim
  • Posted safety messages on You-Tube
  • Raised funds for a specific cause such as purchasing prosthetics for amputees, or life saving groups
  • Started charities to help other victims
  • Launched boating safety efforts in hopes of preventing others from going through the loss they endured
  • Invented propeller safety devices as a means to prevent others from having to go through the same thing
  • Sponsored boating safety regulations in the name of their loved one
  • Painted a rock wall in their honor
  • Endured long court battles against parties they see as responsible for the death of their loved one in an attempt to prevent this from happening to others

We added this Memorials category on our blog on 24 April 2013 to cover some of these memorials. We hope it will inspire others to find similar ways to honor their loved ones lost to boat propellers.

We will be gradually adding posts about specific memorials to this category as time allows.

0 Categories : Memorials

Jerrie Barhanovich, widow of Mark Barhanovich filed suit against C.F. Bean and Archer Western Contractors in the death of her husband resulting from a boating accident in which his boat allegedly struck a dredge pipe.

We previously covered the accident in Mark Barhanovich Boat Propeller Accident at Deer Island Near Biloxi, MS: Dredge Pipe Strike?.

We also covered the Jones Act suit by C.F. Bean, their attempt to limit their potential liability in this accident.

Now, Jerrie Barhanovich has filed suit in those proceedings. Her case is: Jerrie P. Barhanovich, Executrix and Personal Representative of the Estate of Mark Barhanovich, Deceased.

It was filed 20 March 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

The claim begins by describing the September 16, 2012 accident that claimed Mark Barhanovich’s life. It says a vessel in navigation (the barge) created a submerged obstruction (the dredge pipe) and failed to adequately “monitor, mark, light, and warn” of the obstruction.

Claims are being made under admiralty and maritime law. Bean and Archer are subject to jurisdiction because they were the proximate cause of Mark Barhanovich’s injuries, and their acts arose from a contract in part with the State of Mississippi. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

On 31 July 2009, UNSW (Australia) School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences was conducting a field trip in Darling Harbor. Students were to visit sites within the harbour using an outboard powered RIB and move on to other nearby destinations.

The boat operator (a University research assistant with a boat operator license) was turning at about 10 to 12 knots, lost control of the Zodiac RIB, and three passengers were ejected. A student (Ms. Gall) among those ejected was seriously struck by the boat or propeller.

The University was sued by WorkCover NSW in New South Wales (NSW) Industrial Court for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2000, and fined $100,000 (Australian dollars).

The boat was found to have been too heavily loaded in the bow, creating bow steering, which caused the boat to inadvertently steer to the left or right.

Following the accident, UNSW implemented several safety changes and has since logged over 500 boating days without an accident.

Importance of This Fine

While the claims are not specific as to the injured party being struck by the boat OR by the propeller, this case comes on the heels of the Australian Military Being Fined $210,000 for Not Using Propeller Guards.

Together, these two workplace cases set a considerable precedent. Workplace Safety Australia is going to be investigating workplace propeller injuries to determine if the employer had proper safety practices and equipment in place before the accident, and charging employers that fail to safeguard their employees.

New Zealand has been seeing several propeller accidents recently and is obviously watching what is going on in Australia. The U.K. is still responding the high profile fatality of Charlie Hutton, along with many other propeller accidents. As we visit with people “in the mix” in the UK they are very aware of what is happening in Australia on this front and many other propeller safety issues.

These cases are setting a significant precedent for workplace propeller safety around the world, and a wakeup call for those manufacturing recreational boats and marine drives as well. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recently updated their position statement on the use of propeller guards. The well known national UK boating association replaced their 6 May 2009 one page statement, Guidance on Prop Guards, with:

Lincolnshire Rescue Boats

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue’s New Boats

We had heard RYA was going to be softening its stance a bit, plus we were aware they had been involved in conversations about the 20 July 2012 Charlie Hutton fatality.

While the new documents may be slightly “softer” they do not reflect the considerably softer stance we had anticipated. Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

A review of the major propeller safety events in 2013 including safety meetings, accidents, legal cases, deaths of those involved in the movement, statistics, patents, articles published, public service announcements, anniversaries, regulations, and other related events.
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0 Categories : Year in Review