Archive for February 2014

Hot Foot throttle from TH Marine

Hot Foot throttle from TH Marine

Many may not even be aware of foot throttles for boats, let alone their role as a propeller safety device.

Foot throttles are connected to the engine by a cable similar to the current hand throttle/shifters. It usually takes a longer cable to reach further forward to the foot throttle. Some DIY installers are leaving the old cable in place in case they ever want to change back.

When a boat operator is ejected by the boat striking a wave, wake, floating log, submerged object, etc., the unmanned boat will often begin to circle resulting in the operator and others in the water being struck repeatedly by the boat and/or propeller. Circling unmanned boats are often said to be in the “Circle of Death”. Bystanders, officials, and emergency responders often risk their own lives while trying to rescue those in the water as the boat continues to circle. Sometimes they, or the operator, are injured or killed while trying to re-board the spinning boat. Read More→

3 Categories : New Products

Motor Boat & Yachting (MBY)published a great investigative article on boat kill switches in the wake of the Milligan family accident in the UK. The article was published in their September 2013 issue, and supported with numerous online materials.

The article titled, The Truth About Kill Cords is accompanied by results of a several question survey that had been presenting to several leading boating organizations and marine companies operating in the U.K. In addition, some videos of testing safety devices are included as well as a video discussing the issue in general.

The Truth About Kill Cords

The Truth About Kill Cords – MBY image

Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

Casey Schulman

Casey Schulman

David Schulman, as personal representative of the estate of Casey Schulman v. Institute for Shipboard Education dba Semester at Sea settled 18 February 2014.

The case focused on the December 2012 death of Casey Schulman, a University of Virginia student, on a Semester at Sea Program. She was struck and killed by the propeller of a shore excursion catamaran in Dominica (the Caribbean). We covered the accident as Casey Schulman Killed by Propeller in Dominica and the resulting case at Schulman v. Semester at Sea.

Judge Kathleen M. Williams issued an Order of Dismissal with Prejudice in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida on 18 February 2014. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Suzuki DF225 outboard

C.F. Bean Limitation of Liability Case has taken a twist.

The case originated with C.F. Bean and Bean Meridian filing a Jones Act suit in Mississippi Southern District Court. Bean was attempting to limit any potential liability in the death of Mark Barhanovich to the value of their barge and its contents. Mr. Barhanovich of Biloxi Mississippi was killed on 16 September 2012 when the outboard motor on his center console boat allegedly struck a dredge pipe operated by Bean and Archer off Deer Island Mississippi, the outboard motor flipped into the boat, and fatally struck him.

A few days after Bean filed the Jones Act suit, Mr. Barhanovich’s widow, Jerri P. Barhanovich filed against Bean and Archer Western Contractors in the same court. The two cases have since been rolled together under the original Jones Act suit.

On 3 February 2014, Bean and Archer filed a Third Party Complaint wanting to bring Suzuki Motor Corporation (manufacturer of the outboard motor) and Bob’s Machine Shop (manufacturer of the jack plate used between the outboard motor and the boat). Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Our review of unsafe boating ads, commercials, and websites found a startling number of Yamaha and Yamaha Outboard Distributor websites and publications portraying unsafe boating practices and behaviors, especially outside the United States.

While some think we should not intervene outside our borders, in today’s society there are no borders. The same ads and materials presented around the world are viewable worldwide via the Internet.

Before someone gets after us saying it is not illegal to participate in many of the actions or behaviors portrayed in these ads in much of the U.S., or in much of the rest of the world. We are not talking about legalities, we are talking about it being inappropriate for boat and marine drive manufacturers to be encouraging such practices and behaviors.

Some of the Yamaha ads and web site images we found are reproduced below. We welcome comments from Yamaha explaining how these practices are really not unsafe or how they plan to prevent such ads from appearing in the future. Read More→

Mark Raubenheimer, a shoreman for MSC cruise line, was working the Opera on January 29, 2014. Shoreman help passengers to shore and back on small vessels, in return for room and board aboard the vessel.

He was launching a boat full of passengers from Barra-Lodge in Mozambique. His leg was cut by the outboard motor propeller on the inflatable dinghy being used to ferry passengers back to the Opera cruise ship. Details are sketchy, but the water was rough and somehow he was pulled under the small vessel. Read More→

Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter was diving with a group of friends at Tutukaka, New Zealand, about 30 kilometers east of Whangarei, at the entrance to Poor Knights Islands on Friday 7 February 2014. Mr. Porter was an experienced 56 year old diver from Auckland New Zealand. Details are sketchy, but reports indicate he had surfaced from a dive about 7pm, and was preparing to reboard the 53 foot diving catamaran, Pacific Hideaway, when he was struck by the vessel’s propeller in the face. Read More→

The boating industry, those providing accessories to boats, those selling accessories and supplies to boaters, beer companies, the excursion tour boat industry, and others have a history of showing unsafe boating practices and behaviors in their advertisements, commercials, web sites, printed materials, trade show booths, and retail displays. Often, the unsafe practices and behaviors portrayed could lead to boat propeller injuries.

We are used to seeing the industry try to defeat propeller cases in court by claiming these practices are unsafe and the injured party assumed the risk when they did this or that. Its going to get harder for the industry to claim that, when the same practices are shown in their commercials.

Some examples U.S. and international commercials featuring unsafe boating practices are presented and briefly discussed below. Read More→

United Kingdom (UK) Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released their report on the Milligan accident on 30 January 2014. Nicholas Milligan’s family’s May 5, 2013 accident captivated the UK. An affluent family out for a day on the Camel Estuary at Padstow Harbor in their RIB ended in tragedy with the death of the father and a daughter, the mother lost part of her leg, a son was severely injured, and two daughters received minor injuries.

This post reviews MAIBS’s findings and offers some comments. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations