PropellerSafety.com

Archive for March 2014

Much concern has been raised about the safety of tourists in Thailand both from thieves and from recreational injuries. We have closely followed the water tourism segment of those concerns. Several tourists have been struck and killed by boat propellers. The Chinese government and the U.K. government have both lashed out against Thailand in concern for their citizens.

With much of Pattaya’s economy riding on tourism, several entites tied to tourism applied for a government grant to be used to pay tourists victimized by crime or severely injured or killed during recreational activities during their visit. The grant was issued and payments are beginning to be made.

The group of concerned organizations started as a “club” and was recently awarded “association” status by the government. The grant was made to the newly recognized Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District association. Members of the association’s board include the District Chief, the mayor, the head of Mike’s Shopping Mall, the president of Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, and president of the Hotel’s Association Eastern Region. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Mark Barhanovich was boating past Deer Island Mississippi in September 2012. His outboard motor stuck something (allegedly a dredge pipe), flipped up into the boat, struck and killed him.

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Suzuki DF225 outboard

In February 2014, Bean and Archer (dredging contractors) responsible for the dredge pipe allegedly struck by Mark Barhanovich proposed bringing Suzuki (maker of the outboard) and Bob’s Machine Shop (maker of the jack plate) into the legal case surrounding his death. Mrs. Barhanovich responded to the court in early March 2014 stating she is opposes bringing Suzuki and Bob’s Machine Shop in. Her reasons included the challenges of legal proceedings against Japanese firms, the bankruptcy of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (now emerged as Suzuki Motor of America), and that Bean & Archer’s motion to include Suzuki and Bob’s Machine shop failed to comply with local rules (did not include a brief citing previous cases or authorities backing up their proposal).

On 20 March 2014, Bean and Archer responded to Mrs. Barhanovich’s objections. As would be expected, Bean and Archer still want to bring Suzuki and Bob’s Machine Shop in to share any possible blame or to lay it all on them. Read More→

2 Categories : Legal Shorts

While bass boat operators have been being ejected /thrown out when underway in open water for decades, recent trends are contributing to the growing list of those ejected. Among these trends include:

  • Availability & popularity of higher horsepower outboard motors
  • Growth of the bass tournament industry
  • Professional anglers wanting to get from one spot to another as fast as possible during a tournament
  • Bass tournaments starting with a “blast off” that can create wakes to be encountered at speed, even a long ways from the start as they peel off to their own fishing spots
  • The ability for less experienced boaters to “buy” their way into a fast ride, vs. spending years gaining experience as they work their way up
  • Competitive bass tournaments with boats this fast is still relatively new (operators do not have decades of experience of handling higher performance boats)
  • More anglers on the competitive circuit traveling further to tournaments puts more opertors in lakes they are not as familiar with as the locals (submerged hazards, stumps, tricky places, etc.)
  • Competitive anglers are traveling long distances on the water in tournaments increasing the effects of boater fatigue / boater hypnosis
  • The growing population of high horsepower used bass boats (lower price point barrier to entry) and more bass boats on the water for more hours
  • Striking stumps or other submerged objects

Kill Switch Lanyard on Wrist

Kill Switch Lanyard on Wrist – Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

We suspect bass boat operators are being ejected more frequently now than in the past, but are unable to quickly confirm that from the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD).

We started assembling a list of bass boat accidents in which the operator was ejected overboard / thrown out in open water while underway. Below the list we explain how it was compiled.

The list of Bass Boat Operators Ejected / Thrown Out While Underway in Open Water is a large pdf poster best viewed on a very large computer monitor or printed off at a copy shop. We included a few accidents in which the boat operator was tossed to the passenger side while wearing a lanyard, but the lanyard did not work. We also included a few involving boats made by major bass boat companies that may not be traditional bass boats. Read More→

Suzuki DF225 outboard

Suzuki DF225 outboard

On 3 February 2014, C.F. Bean, Bean Meridian, and Archer Western Contractors filed a Third Party Complaint in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division. The complain called for adding Suzuki (USA), Suzuki (Japan), and Bob’s Machine Shop (jack plate manufacturer) as defendants in the case regarding the death of Mark Barhanovich. Mr. Barhanovich is thought to have struck a dredge pipe off Deer Island Mississippi in September 2012. His outboard motor flipped into the boat, where it struck and killed him.

Bean and Archer basically want to blame everything on Suzuki (in the U.S. and in Japan), and on Bob’s Machine Shop.

On 6 March 2014, Jerrie Barhanovich, widow of Mark Barhanovich, filed a brief stating her opposition to Bean and Archer’s request to bring Suzuki and Bob’s Machine Shop in as defendants.

She says Bean and Archer’s request should be denied on 2 counts:

  • The motion does not comply with local rules
  • The proposed third party complaint is futile, will delay the trial, and will prejudice her side of the case.

Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

We attended the 2014 Tulsa Boat Show on Wednesday afternoon January 29, 2014. This post is Part 1 of our two part coverage of propeller warning labels at 2014 show. It follows up on our 2012 and 2013 posts on Propeller Warning Labels at the Tulsa Boat Show. Lora and I walked around and photographed propeller warning labels / decals. Shortly after we started walking the show, I saw Phil Keeter, President of the Tulsa Boat Show. We had a nice visit about how big the show is this year and how much press it was getting.

The variety of decals and warnings continues to amaze us year after year. Once again, Lora noted we were seeing more decals that last year. But just like last year, some boats had no warnings at all at the stern.

Last year we spun off a separate post about the popularity of rearward facing seats at the swim platform and our concerns for the safety of those using them. This year they are everywhere. We acknowledge most have a warning label telling you not to ride in them when underway or when the engine is running, but suspect the warnings are often not followed.

Our discussion of warning labels is very timely right now as the American Boat and Yachting Council (ABYC) Standards Week met in January 2014. They met in part to discuss the future of ABYC’s T-5 Safety Signs and Warnings technical information report. Some feel ABYC should do away with the standard and just use ANSI Z535-4. Others want to update T-5 which was last updated in 2002. The draft minutes on the meeting are not very specific, but it sounds like they plan to update T-5 and make it a standard.

Lets just say that T-5 in its current condition is not a very demanding technical information report (that is being nice).

Although we also saw several propeller warning labels identical to the ones we saw at the 2012 and 2013 Tulsa Boat Shows, we did not repost them. The only ones we show below are those new to our sample of propeller safety related labels. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

This post is Part 2 of our two part coverage of propeller warning labels at 2014 show.

We tried to group most of the stand alone propeller warnings on this page. A few of them are on page 1 as part of our coverage of clusters of warnings. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts