Archive for Boating Safety

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be holding its 97th meeting on March 23-25, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.

Their March 2, 2018 notice in the Federal Register invited public comments, due by March 6th if they were to be distributed in advance to NBSAC members.

We submitted a pubic comment, our recent Propeller Safety dot com post on our updated design chart for preventing outboard motors from breaking off and flipping into boats when striking floating or submerged objects.

We used a cover letter to point out NBSACs own discovery of this problem as retold in the NBSAC95 minutes and attached a copy of our design chart post. Read More→

A brief review of the major propeller safety events in 2016 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→

Categories : Year in Review

Its been about two years since we updated the List of Over the Bow Pontoon Boat Propeller Accidents, many of which result from bow riding / bowriding.

The recent cluster of pontoon boat propeller accidents, 6 media reported accidents in 8 days in late July and early August, followed by the Kaden Frederick fatality, the chaos at Ocean City Maryland following several accidents there, combined with our earlier efforts at trying to prevent these accidents, and a possibility to get some attention focused on this issue caused us to update the list.

The new version is two pages long, includes 198 incidents, some of which included multiple propeller strikes.

Pontoon Boat anchor on shore

Pontoon Boat anchored on shore

We tried to limit the list to only over the bow prop accidents on pontoon boats. There are numerous other ways to get struck by the propeller of a pontoon boat, but this is the leading cause, and the cause that most often involves children. Read More→

A flurry of boat boat propeller accidents in Ocean City, Maryland has many talking about the recent cluster of accidents.

As we scanned the news this morning (24 August 2016) our eyes were drawn to a DelmarvaNow headline, “In Ocean City, Propeller Accidents Chop Up Vacations”. DelmarvaNow is part of the USAToday media network. DelmarvaNow is named for a large peninsula that includes most of Delaware and parts of Virginia and Maryland.

Original DelmarvaNow headline

Original DelmarvaNow headline

Boating communities, like Ocean City, have long been known for minimal coverage of boating accidents because such coverage can drive boaters and tourists away (AND ADVERTISERS with connections to those activities which is most of them in a resort community).

Our observations, some of which have been documented, are the U.S. media fails to cover many fatal boating accidents, only locally covers those they do, and uses much tamer (less shocking) headlines and photos than the rest of the world. Read More→

Back in November 2011 we covered Mercury Marine’s Moving Propeller Alert. It displays LED lights to swimmers behind the vessel when the engine is running. Those same LED lights blink in a rotational pattern when the engine is on and the propeller is rotating. The propeller safety device was originally limited to boats with Mercury’s SmartCraft CANBUS network.

Mercury Marine MP Alert oval bezel

Mercury Marine MP Alert oval bezel

Mercury Marine has since updated their Moving Propeller Alert (MP Alert). MP Alert is now available in a smaller size for mounting where space is limited and for use on non-SmartCraft boats and with non-Mercury outboard motors. The system can run up to four individual rotating lights that can be a mix of the larger and smaller ones if desired.

As to use on non-Mercury systems, as we understand it, a switch in the dash allow the operator to turn the system off and on when swimmers are in the water. The two page flyer does not specifically say the lights automatically rotate when the engine is running and shifted into gear on non-Mercury outboards. They may be asking the operator to switch it on at those times when swimmers are in the water.

The LED lights are automatically dimmed at night so they will not be confused with navigational lights.

Mercury issued a colorful 2 page pdf sheet describing the updated MP Alert propeller safety system.

0 Categories : New Products

Chris Lane, popular professional bass angler, fished the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake near Grove Oklahoma using The Leash. Outboard motors can strike submerged objects at bass boat speeds, break off, and flip into the boat while still running. Just like a NASCAR tire tether prevents tires from breaking loose during a collision and becoming a dangerous projectile, The Leash prevents the outboard from reaching bass boat operators or passengers.

I used Photoshop to crop and brighten an image taken by Bassmaster showing Chris Lane with his orange Power Poles and orange The Leash.

The Leash on Chris Lane's boat during 2016 Bassmaster Classic photo is an edited version of Bassmaster's Bling Gallery image #24

The Leash on Chris Lane’s boat during 2016 Bassmaster Classic
photo is an edited version of Bassmaster’s Bling Gallery image #24

All the remaining photos were taken by me.

Chris Lane at Bassmaster Classic 2016 blastoff Day 1

Chris Lane at Bassmaster Classic 2016 blastoff Day 1

Blast-off Day 1. We have a high resolution version of this image that looks very nice.

Read More→

0 Categories : Bass Tournaments

The recent death of Sri Shim by a boat propeller has energized calls for safer waters off Hawaii.

Luke Evslin, injured in a high profile propeller accident 5 years ago, is also speaking out for the need for propeller guards.

House Bill 2024 now calls for propeller guards / prop guards to be installed on all motorized recreational boats operating within 500 meters of shore.

A House Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Wednesday 17 February at 9am.

Hawaii proposes propeller guard bill. Hawaii News Now

Hawaii proposes propeller guard bill. Hawaii News Now image

Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

When an outboard motor strikes a submerged object at speed it may break off and flip into the boat. Outboards that flip into the boat usually do so with the engine still running and the propeller turning at thousands of RPM. Those on board can be critically injured or killed.

We have long been especially pointing out the need to prevent larger outboard motors, such as those on bass boats, from entering the boat.

The Leash is a new product designed specifically to prevent outboard motors from flipping into bass boats and usable in other applications as well.

All images below, except the hand sketch have their origins based on images on The Leash’s Facebook page.

Shortly after we posted this page, The Leash also launched a web page on

The Leash: promotional image

The Leash: promotional image

Read More→

0 Categories : New Products

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

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