Archive for July 2014

Following up on the Dinner Key July 4th, 2014 accident in South Florida (four fatalities and several critically injured), Trevor Bach of Miami New Times published a Riptide blog post on 31 July 2014 titled, “Dinner Key Tragedy: Advocates Say Florida Could Save Lives With One Simple Safety Law”

Kill Switch Lanyard

Lanyard photo courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard

In the article Trevor Bach notes five states currently require mandatory wear of kill-switch lanyards (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Nevada), and notes “Florida, the most popular state for boating and also the deadliest, with 62 fatalities last year, is conspicuously absent from the list.”

He says boating safety advocates say the boating industry does not want kill-switch lanyard use to be mandatory, then quotes me as saying “They don’t want mandatory anything”. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

Miami New Times continuing coverage of boating safety issues identified Nixon Sandbar as a well known party spot with ties to some major boating accidents (like the DJ Laz accident, and the July 4th Dinner Key accident).

As part of their investigation, Miami New Times shot some video coverage of the weekend of July 4th, 2014 activities at Nixon Beach. The article by Trevor Bach, is titled Partying at Nixon Sandbar on Fourth of July.

The video shows a pretty rowdy crowd, with little to no attention being paid to boating safety. Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

Ryan Batchelder

Ryan Batchelder

Ryan Paul Batchelder, 7 of Lake Worth Florida, was in the bow of a rented boat with at least one other child on Lake Burton in Georgia on Thursday 17 July, 2014. About 5 pm, the boat operator made a hard turn, the boat hit a large wake, some water came over the bow, Ryan Batchelder and another child were ejected from the bow.

Early reports say Ryan went under the rented boat and was struck by the propeller in the boating accident.

One report says it was a ski boat with two adults and four children on board. Read More→

Three physicians on the Mediterranean Island of Malta are calling or the use of boat propeller guards. Their paper in the Malta Medical Journal covers the accident and recovery of a propeller accident victim there.

The 44 year old man was scuba diving off Malta. As he was surfacing, strong currents pushed him into the propeller of the boat he dove from. The propeller was turning, but not at maximum speed. His friends got him back on the boat, and they sped back toward shore. Luckily, one of the dive team members was a cardiac surgeon who sprang into action administering first aid, and covering the victim’s chest wound with a towel.

The report addresses propeller accident statistics in the U.S. and Canada, since no similar statics exists for boat prop accidents in Malta.

Much of the article focuses on medical procedures used to address the victim’s very serious chest wounds (one of his lungs is wide open in the photos).

Case Report: Chest Wall Reconstruction Following a Speedboat Propeller Injury.
D. Sladen, A. Chasha, and A. Manche.
Malta Medical Journal.
Vol.26. No.2. (2014). Read More→

0 Categories : Medical

Trevor Bach of the Miami New Times (a paper in Miami FL) authored a major investigative story on the South Florida boat party scene getting out of hand and resulting in several high profile accidents. The last of which, was the quadruple fatality the evening of July 4th off Dinner Key. A 32 foot power boat that had spent the day at the Nixon sandbar party (same site as the recent DJ Laz accident) was headed to Dinner Key in the dark when it struck a 36 foot boat, and bounced into yet another boat. The result was four dead:

  • Jason Soleimani (22)
  • Kelsi Karpiak (24)
  • Victoria “Tori” Dempsey (20)
  • Andrew Garcia(23)

and three more critically injured.

Reference: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths.
Trevor Bach.
Miami New Times.
17 July 2014. Read More→

0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

We recently spent some time updating our list of Pontoon Boat Bowriding propeller accidents.

Since our October 2013 update, we have become aware of or identified about 15 more over the bow pontoon boat propeller accidents. They are mostly 2013 and 2014 accidents. Several of the new 2013 accidents come from the recently released 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (Public BARD).

We felt the need to update our list in the wake of three recent over the bow pontoon boat accidents in 8 days (June 30 – July 7th, 2014), including one here in Oklahoma.

The new updated list is now available from our previous post at Pontoon Boat Bow Riding and Over the Bow Propeller Accidents List. The list has grown to over 150 accidents.

We plan to write a post addressing this issue soon.

Placement of propeller warning on pontoon boat at 2013 Tulsa Boat Show

Placement of propeller warning on pontoon boat at 2013 Tulsa Boat Show

Miles Wohlford

Miles Wohlford

About 6pm Saturday 28 June 2014, a group of friends were tubing on Okanagan Lake near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. Miles Wohlford, 14 of Vernon B.C., fell from the tube, the boat swung around to pick him up, and he was struck by the propeller.

The boat was being operated by a 49 year old woman.

Miles Wohlford “suffered multiple life threatening injuries to several parts of his body” per the local Constable. RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) responded, and the young boy was life flighted to Kelowna General Hospital.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident per RCMP. Police as asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact them.

Friends of the family quickly began a fundraising campaign as Miles’s family would soon be facing large medical expenses, as many prayed for him in the hospital. Read More→

Rico Dardis

Rico Dardis

Earlier, we covered the 27 May 2013 Christchurch boat propeller death of Rico Dardis, a 30 year old UK rapper and father, in some of our efforts to record the history of boat propeller safety events in the UK. Since then, his death has often been in the news as authorities have been investigating the accident as a possible murder.

The last few days, several major UK papers have broken the gruesome story of Rico Dardis’ murder as it unraveled at Winchester Crown Court. The boat involved was named, “No Chance”. Paul Gerlach and Louis Borzoni are the men accused of murder. We will leave the remaining details to the UK media. Below we present images of two headlines (Mail Online / Daily Mail, and Mirror) with links to their respective media outlets.

We cover this story in part because it represents several other murders with boat propellers as the weapon of choice, and in part because of its location in the UK. The United Kingdom is still reeling from the 2013 Milligan accident and many other events. While this murder may not result in calls for boat propeller safety, it will keep propellers forefront in the minds of their citizens.

Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Drew Barefield

Drew Barefield

Drew Barefield, a 12 year old boy from Crestview Florida, was snorkeling in Choctawhatchee Bay while his dad was net casting for mullet nearby on Saturday evening 28 June 2014 about 7:40 pm. They were in an area of bay near Villa Tasso between Niceville and Freeport known for being shallow for about a quarter of a mile offshore.

Drew was a little further offshore than his dad when he was struck by a westbound passing boat. The boat is described as being light colored with a black motor (in the boating world that does not narrow down things very much). The boat continued on. Authorities are not certain if it was a hit-and-run or if the boaters were unaware they struck a snorkeler. The boat operator was still being sought Monday evening June 30th.

When authorities arrived on the scene, Trey Barefield, Drew’s father, was holding him in the back of a pickup truck. Drew was life life flighted to an unnamed hospital in Pensacola, Florida where he remained in critical condition. Read More→