Archive for August 2014

Kali Gorzell

Kali Gorzell

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) released a ten minute video August 26, 2014 titled, Beautiful but Gone.

The video features three families that lost teenagers to boating accidents and one family whose teenager’s brain was damaged as the result of a boating accident.

  • Jacob Damoff’s mother Jeanne Damoff
  • Brandon Fugates’ parents Mike and Belinda Fugate
  • Connor Gage’s mother Dana Gage
  • Kali Gorzell’s parents James and Donna Gorzell

Beautiful but Gone

Beautiful but Gone

Among the families are Donna and James Gorzell who lost their daughter Kali Gorzell in a July 2012 boat propeller accident.

The parents and families talk about their final moments with their children, receiving the calls, going to the hospital, being met by nurses and doctors, dealing with the loss, and offer some safety tips.

This heart wrenching film joins “Never Happens” a TWPD film released earlier this year (the Gorzell accident is also mentioned in that video). The two films will be used in boating safety and driving safety classes in Texas to raise the awareness for boating safety.

We salute TPWD for a job well done. We also salute the Texas legislators that encouraged this project and helped secure its funding, including Representative Tan Parker and Representative Lyle Larson of San Antonio (home area of Kali Gorzell).

Children Tubing

Children Tubing
image courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

In the wake of the Emily Fedorko accident, BoatUS Foundation, the safety side of BoatUS used the Today Show to issue announce a warning today (18 August 2014). Read More→

Mercury Marine Moving Propeller (MP) Alert

Mercury Marine Moving Propeller (MP) Alert

We covered Brunswick / Mercury Marine’s Moving Propeller Alert back in November 2011.

We followed that post up with a call for inventors and college project classes to consider trying design a free standing, energy harvesting, self powered version that did not require the use of the expensive underlying Smart Craft bus system.

Now, about two years later, Brunswick’s patent for the Moving Propeller Alert issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

U.S. Patent 8,803,711
System and Methods for Displaying Operational Characteristics of Marine Vessels.

Inventor: Steven J. Gonring.
Assignee: Brunswick Corporation.
Issued 12 August 2014.

The patent application was filed back on January 28, 2011. It is a continuation of an application filed 22 September 2010 (about 4 years ago) so it probably had some problems along the way.

The patent cites U.S. Patent 7,247,063 by Marc S.Lemchen that detects propeller rotation and/or CO2 presence and generated a warning signal with the intent to warn a swimmer in the proximity.

The basic premise of the invention is that a device a bit larger than a coaster that has a series of led lights in the form of a circle (a circular array of lights). The lights blink in a rotary sequence to suggest rotation when the propeller is rotating at low to moderate speeds. Read More→

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Emily Fedorko

Emily Fedorko
Facebook image

Emily Fedorko, 16 of Old Greenwich, and three other teenage girls were tubing about one to two miles off Greenwich Point Park, Connecticut on Wednesday 6 August, 2014. One girl was operating the boat, one girl was a passenger, and Emily Fedorko and a friend were riding a tube. Between 2 and 2:30pm, the girls in the water were struck by the boat’s propeller.

News media outlets present a plethora of scenarios as to what happened next, but authorities say the accident is still under investigation and all they will say regarding the scenario is that somehow the two girls that were tubing encountered the propeller. Authorities also note the girl driving the boat has taken the safe boating class and as such is legally certified to operate any boat. The boat, a 21 foot Wahoo center console boat powered by a 200 horsepower Evinrude outboard motor is owned by one of the girl’s fathers.

Immediately after the accident, the two girls onboard were able to get the two girls struck by the propeller onboard and took them to Old Greenwich Yacht Club Dock where Emily Fedorko was declared dead at the scene. Authorities said she suffered a fatal wound to her torso. Read More→