Archive for May 2016

Marion Irving de Cruz with photo of her son Emilio

Marion Irving de Cruz
with photo of her son Emilio
cropped from USCG award ceremony photo

Marion Irving de Cruz lost a long battle with medical issues and passed from this life at her California home on Wednesday afternoon May 18, 2016.

Know by many as a long time advocate for boat propeller safety, founder of SPIN (Stop Propeller Injuries Now, and by the boating industry as “one of those crazy ladies that kept turning up at Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) meetings”.

Marion was perhaps best described recently by one of her longtime friends often in the saddle for SPIN as “the wind beneath our wings.” Marion enlisted and encouraged thousands of people in her efforts calling for boat propeller safety.

She was preceded in death by her son Emilo in 1993. A college engineering junior preparing to take the steps many take at that age in their life. Instead of taking those steps he was instead suddenly struck down and killed by a houseboat propeller. Marion quickly began learning about other houseboat propeller accidents, about propeller guards, and how they could prevent many houseboat propeller accidents.

She teamed with other families of survivors and victims to spread the work and to encourage the industry to use propeller guards.

Known by many as Emilo’s mom, she signed thousands of documents with that signature. Read More→

4 Categories : Memorials

USCG 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics cover

USCG 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics

U.S. Coast Guard recently released their annual 2015 recreational boating accident statistics report. Total counts for 2015 BARD reported accidents were 4,158 accidents, 2,613 injuries, and 626 fatalities.

USCG reported 158 propeller accidents, 150 propeller injuries, and 27 propeller fatalities.

We would like to thank USCG for all the efforts they put into this annual statistical report of boating accidents.

We would also like to thank USCG, law enforcement officials, lake patrols, first responders, nurses and physicians, those offering boating safety classes, boat safety equipment check points, safe boaters, state boating law administrators, life jacket loaner program participants, Operation Dry Water, and all others who work tirelessly to drive these annual totals down.

Plus thanks to all the state boating law administrators and all the officers in the field filling out the accident reports, and to the individuals that self reported their accidents.

Live Like Kali stampTexas flats boats also called bay boats have been found unsafe by a United States Coast Guard Contractor. Bay boats / flats boats are relatively flat bottomed for shallow water operation.

In July 2012, Kali Gorzel, a 16 year old girl loved by hundreds, fell from a bay boat off Port Aransas Texas when the operator lost control in a relatively slow speed turn and the boat spun, she fell overboard, and was fatally struck by the propeller.

In the wake of the Kali Gorzell accident, her parents began to hear of other similar accidents, bay boats spinning out of control.

Similar accidents included Michael Dominguez (a 6th grader from San Antonio, Texas) and the fatal accident of Janis Lindeman of Blanco, Texas.

Kali Gorzell’s parents found an interested partner in Cody Jones, Assistant Commander with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TXPWD). He was interested in part because a game warden had been tossed from a similar boat. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

Aiden McKitrick cropped from a Facebook image

Aiden McKitrick
cropped from a Facebook image

Aiden McKitrick, a three year old boy, was on a pontoon boat with his father, Austin McKitrick, Thurday evening May 5, 2016 on Lake Ray Hubbard, near Dallas Texas. About 8:30pm they were near the Rush Creek Yacht Club and Aiden was playing near the pontoon boat gate.

The young boy, Aiden McKitrick, fell overboard and was struck by the pontoon boat’s propeller. His father, a Lewisville Texas firefighter, pulled Aiden from the water, and he was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas in critical condition.

The Lewisville Firefighters Association is raising funds on GoFundMe to help Aiden McKitrick’s family with medical expenses. Read More→

We updated our Outboard Motor Struck Submerged Object and Flipped Into Boat list today (2 May 2016).

We still have many more to add to the list above plus the 2015 U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) will be out with more soon as well.

We also updated our list of Bass Boat Outboard Motor Struck Submerged Object & Flipped into Boat list today (2 May 2016).

Several of these accidents resulted in propeller injuries or fatalities.

We encourage those working on preventing these accidents to view our paper titled, Approaches to Prevent Outboard Motors From Flipping Into Boats After Striking Floating or Submerged Objects. We also have considerable additional information that had not yet been integrated into that report.