Archive for November 2014

AFLOAT cover 2014 December AFLOAT, an Australian boating magazine published an article on the dangers of boat propellers in their December 2014 issue.

The article includes news clips from two recent high profile propeller accidents involving children down under.

1. A 12 year-old New Zealand school was seriously stuck on the arm when the rowing team skiff was struck by the coach’s boat. The coach was a very long time rowing coach.

2. A six year old boy was killed at a remote beach while his family was launching the boat in Western Australia. The boat is thought to have started, then went into the Circle of Death spin, others were ejected, then the boat ejected the boy who was struck by the propeller of the spinning boat. The young boy’s father was also struck by the propeller while trying to rescue his son.

The article suggests a propeller guard would likely have reduced the injuries of the first boy, and the use of a kill switch / kill cord may have prevented the second accident. Read More→

0 Categories : Media

Nicholas Milligan

Nicholas Milligan

An inquest into the deaths of Nicholas “Niko” Milligan and his daughter Emily in a May 2013 boating accident at Padstow Harbor in the UK was held November 10-11 2014 in Truro. The incident was deemed to be an accident.

We covered the accident earlier at Nicholas Milligan accident and the subsequent MAIB report.

The very basics of the accident were a family of six out for day of boating. They were thinking of stopping, then decided to go one more round of the Camel Estuary. As Nicholas went to the stern to find his sun glasses, his wife, Victoria, took over the controls and did not attach the kill cord. Shortly later as she was turning around to go one more lap, he her husband reached over and turned the wheel sharply as he increased the throttle to help complete the turn before they hit the shore. Some think Nicholas may have slipped during that time and that made the turn and throttle movements more abrupt. Read More→

Children and adults have been falling off the bow of pontoon boats and being stuck by the propeller for decades. A typical scenario involves children sitting on the bow, outside the fence, with their feet dangling in the water as the boat moves forward. They hit a larger wake or wave and are pulled overboard by their feet, or the boat operator suddenly slows the boat and they rotate over the bow. Either way, they hit the water while the boat is still advancing. The operator quickly pulls the boat to neutral but it is too late. They hear a thud from the child’s body hitting the propeller and the water quickly turns blood red behind the boat.

Pontoon Boat anchor on shore

Pontoon Boat anchored on shore

This post will identify some ways to prevent these accidents. We will not focus on the contributions of rapid access to onsite medical care and quick transit to a major trauma hospital. Read More→

This post is a subpart of our larger coverage of Preventing Pontoon Boat Over the Bow accidents.

Engineering & Design

In our opinion, DESIGN is one of the most overlooked and under utilized tools to prevent pontoon boat over the bow propeller accidents. Traditionally engineers identify hazards then apply the Product Safety Hierarchy to make their products safe. An abbreviated version of the Product Safety Hierarchy is below:

  • Identify hazards
  • Design out hazards if possible
  • Use guards, shields, or barriers to keep people away from hazards that cannot be designed out
  • Use safety interlocks to prevent accidents when hazard cannot be designed out (such as a pontoon boat gate latch switch that prevents starting the boat if the gate is open)
  • Warn of remaining hazards
  • Train and instruct users of remaining hazards
  • Use of protective clothing

For brevity, we will solely focus on the bow riding issue in this section. Read More→

A review of the major propeller safety events in 2014 including safety meetings, accidents, legal cases, deaths of those involved in the movement, statistics, patents, articles published, public service announcements, anniversaries, regulations, and other related events.

Read More→

0 Categories : Year in Review