Archive for June 2013

Boat propeller safety issues have created a “Perfect Storm” in the United Kingdom (UK). Tens of thousands of people are calling for reforming boat propeller safety regulations.

A petition calling for making the use of kill cords (emergency engine kill switch lanyards) mandatory has now received over 68,000 signatures.

It had been business as usual in the UK for decades. Now, even officials in high positions are calling for change. How did all this attention become focused on boat propeller safety issues?

To visualize the current intense interest in boat kill cords and boat propeller safety we created timeline above. The timeline visually displays how propeller safety accidents and events are happening much more frequently now (late June 2013) than they were in 2010 or 2011. Read More→

0 Categories : History

Interest in recreational boat kill cords (emergency engine cut-off switches and lanyards) strongly peaked in the United Kingdom (UK) following the Nicholas Milligan family accident at Padstow Harbor on May 5, 2013.

Interest world wide was also very high after the accident.

As an example of the peak in interest, we investigated Google search frequencies. Google Trends charts popular search terms as a percent of their all time interest (frequency of being searched for) during the selected time interval.

We charted Google “kill cord” searches in the UK:

Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

In the wake of all the attention focused on kill cords (emergency engine kill-switch lanyards) by the Milligan accident, Powerboat & RIB Magazine (PBR) is taking action will be sending our free “Attach Your Kill Cord” warning stickers with their July issue. They announced the new warning stickers labels were in stock via Twitter on May 28, 2013.

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

Cian Williams

Cian Williams

Cian Williams, a young boy from North Wales severely injured by a boat propeller last year, and his mother have launched a petition to Sir Dafydd Ellis Thomas in the United Kingdom (UK) to “Put Cages on Boat Propellers”.

The petition itself is very brief and to the point, “Put cages on boat propellers.” It can be signed on Over 630 people have already signed the petition. The petition is accompanied by a photo of a leg struck by a boat propeller.

UK Petition to Put Cages on Boat Propellers

UK Petition to Put Cages on Boat Propellers

Please sign their petition, and help Cian continue to draw attention to the dangers of exposed propellers.

0 Categories : Propeller Safety Causes

The recent UK Milligan accident really stirred up the boat kill switch lanyard issue there (they call them kill-cords). Are we the only ones that think it is ridiculous to have seven different keys?

7 boat kill switch keys as shown by JAG Trading Online

The 7 boat kill switch keys as shown by JAG Trading Online
JAG sells lanyards / kill cords on eBay

At one time, most drive builders builders had their own key design (Johnson/Evinrude, Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki, Tohatsu, and Honda).

Here in the U.S., the Coast Guard and several boating safety organizations are trying to encourage boaters to use/wear emergency engine kill switch lanyards. Read More→

U.S. Coast Guard sent us a copy of the Public Release version of their 2012 Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) in late May 2013. We were busy with a few other projects at that time, but recently had some time to look more closely at the database.

The big news is more states allowed their data to be included. Only 10 states and one territory refused to allow their data to be included (Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). If they reported on time, their summary data is included in the totals USCG previously published in their 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics annual report, but their individual accident data is not available in 2012 Public BARD. Several other states redacted one of more data fields, but allowed most of their data to be included.

The ten states and territories failing to report say they do so for privacy issues. After recent revelations out of Washington, D.C. (massive phone and Internet snooping by the Federal government) it seems pretty obvious to us that individuals in those states should have much larger more important privacy concerns than someone printing their boat Hull number and tying it to an accident date (no names or addresses are printed in Public BARD). We strongly encourage all states to report their data to help make boating safer in their state, and across the country.

About the same number of states and territories refused to report to 2011 Public BARD. This is still a great improvement over 2010 Public BARD when over 25 states and territories refused to allow their data to be included. Overall, in 2012 1,001 accident reports were deleted by the states vs. 997 in 2011, and 1,910 in 2010. Read More→

Nicholas Milligan

Nicholas Milligan

Nicholas Milligan’s family’s propeller accident at Padstow Harbor generated a tremendous amount of interest in boat propeller safety issues and particularly in the use of kill cords.

To place the Milligan accident and the current level of interest in a proper and historical perspective, we wrote a History of Propeller Safety issues in the United Kingdom (Great Britain / England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland).

As part of that effort, we sorted through thousands of boat propeller accident reports in our databases, news reports, and other sources in an effort to identify more prominent, higher profile boat propeller accidents in the UK.

We identified many early events that have echoed in the more recent past. For example, Heddon Johnson came back again as a propeller safety advocate after loosing his son over a decade ago, several more recent victims and family members are engaging as propeller safety advocates (Cian Williams and his mother, Simon Hutton, Maurice Abrahams, ….), some are still independently in the news (Stef Reid as a Para Olympian, and Mick Ward as a Para-Equestrian competitor), organizations and entities have begun to speak out (Isle of Wight Coroner, RYA, Maritime and Coast Guard), new propeller safety organizations are being formed (Put Cages on Boat Propellers), and the Internet is abuzz with kill cord discussions in the wake of the Milligan accident. Read More→

1 Categories : History