PropellerSafety.com

Archive for January 2016

Mark Barhanovich

Mark Barhanovich

The fatal propeller accident in which Mark Barhanovich’s boat allegedly struck a dredge pipe and the Suzuki outboard motor broke off, flipped into the boat and struck him with the propeller has resulted in perhaps the most complicated propeller accident case ever with no end in sight.

Mr. Barhanovich was a cherished, well known citizen of Biloxi Mississippi with a young family when the accident occurred off Deer Island Mississippi in September 2012.

Recently Suzuki was released from the case, but Bean quickly appealed and the case is now in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

A few months back we came across a 2015 thesis targeting preventing outboard motors and stern drives from breaking off and flipping into boats when striking submerged objects:

Boat Propulsion Impact Relief System
Baccalaureate thesis
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Cincinnati
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Jared Frizzi
30 April 2015

We congratulate Mr. Frizzi for choosing his topic in this field and are glad he was at least partially influenced by our site, even if it was probably later on in his project. However, his work was based on several incorrect assumptions, reducing the contribution he could have made to the field of propeller safety.

Again, we really appreciate him choosing propeller safety related topic, but want to use this opportunity to again encourage anyone choosing a student project off our list to contact us for some guidance. We definitely do not want to take over your project, but we can help point you the right direction, point you to some great resources, help you be successful, and help your work make the largest impact possible. Read More→

0 Categories : Research Projects

Outboard broke off and flipped into Michael Moreno's boat. Image via Bass Angler magazine.

Outboard broke off and flipped into Michael Moreno’s Ranger bass boat. Image via Bass Angler magazine.

Back on 29 September 2011, Mike Moreno, a professional bass angler, and his stepson, Jared Mitchell were prefishing the California Bass Federation State Championship tournament

The were rolling along in a Ranger bass boat powered by a 250 horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

About 8 am they struck a dredge pipe on the San Joaquin River Delta. The Mercury outboard motor broke off, flipped up into the boat, and landed between the consoles with the engine still running. Both men sustained major injuries. Mike Moreno was pinned down by the motor. Jared was cut by the propeller. This quick account of the accident was gleaned from Things can happen beyond your control. Bass Angler magazine. 18 October 2011.

The Moreno’s filed a case 12 October 2012 in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Sacramento, Case #34-2012-00133702 focusing on the dredging operation being insufficiently marked / lack of warnings. That case also named the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as defendants. With the federal agencies named as defendants, on 8 April 2013 the case was moved to Federal Court:

Michael Moreno, Deanna Moreno (spouse of Michael Moreno), Jared Mitchell
vs.
Ross Island Sand & Gravel, Costa County, Sacramento County, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

United States District Court
Eastern District of California
Case # 2:13-cv-00691-KJM-KJN Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

WVEC image of a man's arm entrapped in DuoProp as example of how Angelopolous' legs were entrapped

WVEC image of a man’s arm entrapped in DuoProp as example of how Angelopolous’ legs were entrapped

A young girl, by the last name of Angelopoulos, then 12 or 13, was entrapped in Volvo DuoProp stern drive propeller on 30 June 2011 in Chesapeake Bay near Lynnhaven Pier in Virginina Beach. The vessel was a 24 foot 2000 Grady-White Sailfish. The young girl was reboarding the boat after tubing. It took about an hour and a half for rescuers to extricate the girl and the propeller from the boat. We covered the accident back when it happened at Virginia Beach Propeller Accident Impales Girl’s Leg.

The rescue involved a total of 71 people who were recognized in a proclamation.

The young girl’s father, Konstantinos N. Angelopoulos, filed a $30 million suit in Norfolk Circuit Court (Virginia) naming the boat operator, Grady-White, Norfolk Marine Company (boat dealer), and Volvo Penta of the America’s as defendants. An amended complaint was filed on 11 July 2014.

UPDATE – A settlement has been reached in the case. The Court is scheduled to review and approve it at 2pm 8 February 2016 per the Norfolk Circuit Court’s schedule.

Read More→

0 Categories : Legal Shorts

Christopher D'Amico

Christopher D’Amico

“Christopher’s Law”, named for Christopher D’Amico from Mount Arlington, New Jersey was signed into New Jersey law on Tuesday 19 January 2016. Ten year old Christopher was fatally struck by a 20 foot rental pontoon boat on Lake Hopatcong 24 June 2015.

While details are a little sketchy, it looks like young Christopher probably fell from the bow of a rented pontoon boat, as have many children, and was struck in the head by the propeller.

Governor Chris Christie signed bill S-3233 into law. It was sponsored by Anthony Bucco, Gail Phoebus, and Nancy Munoz. The new law requires those renting pontoon boats to complete safety instruction training before taking out the boat. Business renting pontoon boats must now prominently post a large metallic propeller warning sign near the entrance to their rental area. Read More→

1 Categories : Regulations

Denique Peace

Denique Peace
cropped from a Facebook image

Denique Peace, now 16, was struck by a boat propeller while wake boarding back on 12 December 2014 on the Murray River in Australia. The young girl aspiring to be a dancer lost her left leg just below the hip.

19 January 2016, about a year after the accident,Daily Mail, a well known U.K. media outlet with in Australian presence, published an excellent followup story on Denique’s recovery. As some other young girls struck by propellers, Denique has been extremely resilient. Now she hopes she will be able to dance in her school prom using her prosthetic leg.

The Daily Mail article is titled,

It felt as if my leg had gone through a shredder.
by Jenny Awford for Daily Mail Australia.
19 January 2016. Read More→

I attended day one of the 19-20 September 2015 Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship bass tournament at Wolf Creek boat ramp on Grand Lake. This was a chance to see the Wolf Creek ramp facilities in action during a large tournament (195 boats) prior to the Bassmaster Classic in March 2016 as well as to test out some of our gear in that setting.

Prizes were significant, including a Ranger Z119c with Mercury 225 Pro XS for first place, and a Triton 189 TRX with a Mercury 150 outboard for second.

They used a large tent as headquarters for the tournament.

Large tent used as headquarters for Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship, Grand Lake, September 2015.

Large tent used as headquarters for Nichols Marine Tournament Series Championship, Grand Lake, September 2015.

We will open our coverage with some of the safety features we saw in new boats on display by Nichols Marine under the tent. Read More→

0 Categories : Bass Tournaments

This is part of our advance coverage of the 2016 Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament to be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.

With the tournament coming back to Grand Lake (was here in 2013) we decided to take an early look at the facilities layout back in May 2015. I arrived on site at Wolf Creek Ramp on Grand Lake the morning of 4 May 2015. It was a very nice day. I hope the weather is this nice come tournament time (early March 2016).

I grew up about 30 miles from Wolf Creek Ramp. Many of my ancestors lived where the lake now is a far back as the Civil War.

Wolf Creek Park regularly hosts bass tournaments and has has wonderful facilities for doing so. Several agencies and Grand River Dam Authority planned significant facility upgrades in advance of the tournament. Most of those upgrades have been completed, but Grand Lake was flooded in late December 2015 and crews are still cleaning up in the aftermath.

The base of the boat ramps was sandbagged to prevent erosion during the flooding.


The park has a large nice parking lot nearby the ramps.

Large parking lot at Wolf Creek Park, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Large parking lot at Wolf Creek Park, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015

In the distance you can see a nice building (red roof) containing restrooms.


They have a nice building containing large spacious restrooms within walking distance of the boat ramps. The photo below was actually taken in September 2015 as it came out much better than some I shot in May.

Restroom building at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Restroom building at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

As you walk on down past the restroom building you enter the area with some trailer parking near the ramps. The trailer parking was left open to allow staging for rapidly launching in advance of a tournament I observed in September 2015. A much larger area for parking trailers is nearby.

Below is the dock most often shown representing Wolf Creek boat ramp. It splits into two moderate length and runs out into the lake. Locally it is known as the “Tuning Fork” dock (looks like a piano tuning fork from the air).

Docks at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015

Docks at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma in May 2015


The park is very nice with life jacket loaner stations and a multiple fishing line recycle stations.

Life Jacket loaner stand at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Life Jacket loaner stand at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Reel In and Recycle! station near dock at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Reel In and Recycle! station near dock at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma


Wolf Creek Park has nice weigh in facilities for smaller bass tournaments. They even have cement tank to keep the fish in.

Weigh in station at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Weigh in station at Wolf Creek boat ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Tournament tank for holding fish at Wolf Creek Ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma

Tournament tank for holding fish at Wolf Creek Ramp, Grand Lake, Grove Oklahoma


I am a firm believer in Restrooms being a thermometer of the condition of a park. On my September 2015 visit to Wolf Creek ramp I happened to be the only one in the men’s restroom so I snapped the photo below. I dare you to compare that with most lake park restrooms. This is a place we can be proud of.

Men's Restroom at Wolf Creek Park near the boat ramps. September 2015.

Men’s Restroom at Wolf Creek Park near the boat ramps. September 2015.


We borrowed a December 15, 2015 aerial photo from Wolf Creek Park’s FaceBook page showing some paving improvements near the ramps before the flood.

Wolf Creek boat ramp improvements 15 December 2015

Wolf Creek boat ramp improvements 15 December 2015
photo courtesy Wolf Creek Park FaceBook page

Other recent facility updates include:

  • New sidewalks & storm water drainage.
  • Streamlining the entrance from Highway 59.
  • The existing boat ramps (as shown in the May 2015 photos above) were ripped out and replaced by Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA). The new ramps have a more appropriate slope.
  • Parking near the ramps now better blends with the slope of the ramps.
  • Additional parking has been added to the south of the existing parking near the ramps

Its great to see our state pulling together to make improvements in advance of the tournament during challenging economic times (our state economy is heavily dependent on oil money).


We cover a large bass tournament at Wolf Creek boat ramp in September 2015 in our next post.


0 Categories : Bass Tournaments

We will be using this new category to cover bass tournament fishing from the aspect of safety methods, procedures, products, technologies, innovations and other topics relevant to boating safety and how things learned from this field might improve the safety of normal boaters. Somewhat like how race car safety has led to safety innovations in normal cars. As always, we will especially focus on new developments with the potential to improve boat propeller safety.

The tournament industry has exploded in popularity. New products of all types; fishing gear, boats, storage, fish finders, depth finders, lures, and some safety devices have come on the scene.

Some tournament organizations, such as Bassmaster, have put in place significant boating safety initiatives such as requiring the use of life jackets and kill switch lanyards when underway during tournaments. If an angler is caught not complying to those rules they are disqualified from the tournament.

The kill switch rule came about from the death of an Oklahoman (Vernon Fowlkes) during Bassmaster Classic II back in 1973. Ray Scott quickly installed the rule and it has remained in place since then. We salute them for doing so. Read More→

0 Categories : Bass Tournaments

Sri Shim surfing

Sri Shim surfing

Sri Shim, 59 of Kailua, and his stepson, Trey Albrecht, 25, were free diving from their kayak that was anchored about 300 yards off Lanikai Beach, Hawaii on Saturday 9 January 2016. The small beach is very beautiful and well known. Lanikai is a community in the town of Kailua on the south eastern side of Oahu.

About 1pm Trey Albrecht was struck by the propeller of a passing boat (a 24 foot RIB/inflatable Zodiac). Trey was taken to shore and on to a local trauma center.

Rescuers learned Sri Shim had been with Trey and began a search.

The Coast Guard, Ocean Safety, and fire department searched for Sri Shim.

His body located about two hours after the accident, about 200 feet from shore. An autopsy determined he died from blunt trauma and boat propeller injuries.

Shim was said to be a very experienced free diver.

The accident was investigated by the Honolulu Police Department. Read More→