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Archive for kill cord

New South Wales (NSW), an Australian state that includes Sydney, recently proposed an update to their Marine Safety Regulations. The update addresses many issues, including mandatory wear of kill switch lanyards on vessels of less than 4.8 meters (about 15.75 feet) equipped with a kill switch.

The new proposed safety regulations are introduced by their Maritime Management Centre at Marine Safety Regulation. The page includes links to the proposed regulation, a regulatory impact statement, and a feedback form. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

Jason and Anna Simmons

Jason and Anna Simmons
WHNT News image

WHNT 19 News (Huntsville Alabama) ran a great article titled, Boater Beware of a family recently ejected from a fishing boat, the boat circled, and struck both of them with the propeller.

Jason Simmons, an elementary school principal, and his wife, Anna, were returning Sunday evening March 29, 2015 from a fishing trip on Wilson Lake. Running about 55 mph, his sunglasses started to blow off, he took his hands off the wheel momentarily as he reached for them, the boat swerved hard to the right due to propeller torque, Jason and Anna were both ejected, and the boat began to circle in the Circle of Death.

Boater Beware

Boater Beware

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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

At Greenport Harbor, Long Island New York on Monday morning 15 September 2014, the operator of a 37 foot high speed boat, referred to as a cigarette boat, with six on board lost control of the boat at full throttle. All six men were ejected. None were wearing life jackets.

The boat began to circle “like a missile on the water” per rescuers. The boat was wildly circling at about 20 miles per hour in the Circle of Death.

Patrick O’Halloran, off duty Coast Guard, took a boat out to the men bobbing in the water. His family members helped pull them in using a fishing net.

Garret Moore of SeaTow rode out to the accident with Bill Barker, also of SeaTow. They talked about trying to throw a line in the water to snag the propeller and slow the boat. When they arrived at the spinning vessel, one of its engines had stopped. They discussed the possibility of Garret jumping into the boat and decided to try that approach. Garret Moore was successful and brought the circling boat under control.

Of the six men on the cigarette boat, one injured some ribs, and all six had symptoms of hypothermia. They were treated and released at the scene.

No charges were filed in the accident. Read More→

We updated the list of boat operators ejected from bass boats underway in open water today (24 September 2014).

Most of the updates come from 2013 BARD (U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database) data. Many of these accidents involve circling unmanned boats.

New Skeeter bass boats at 2014 Tulsa Boat Show

New Skeeter bass boats at 2014 Tulsa Boat Show

Skeeter is shown as a representative bass boat. They have a long history and ties to one of the earliest bass boat designs.


Vernon Fowlkes

Vernon Fowlkes
Tulsa World image

The 1973 Bassmaster Classic III tournament was held on Clark Hill Reservoir, South Carolina October 24 -26, 1973.

In addition to contestants, several celebrities were invited to participate in the tournament. Among the celebrities were Vernon Fowlkes, 53, a bass fishing industry supplier, co-founder of the nations first local bass organization (Tulsa Bass Club), and a Classic Sponsor. Fowlkes was well known for his Fo-Mac company’s rod holders, water temperature gauges, and “Ugh! Button” rod butt caps. Remnants of his company are still ongoing in Tulsa.

Vernon Fowlkes was teamed with Charles Brown (a local angler), and with Sam Powell, who went on to be a longtime outdoor writer for the Tulsa Word. Sam wrote for the Tulsa World for 37 years (1971-2008), retired, and died at his home in June 2014. Read More→

Following up on the Dinner Key July 4th, 2014 accident in South Florida (four fatalities and several critically injured), Trevor Bach of Miami New Times published a Riptide blog post on 31 July 2014 titled, “Dinner Key Tragedy: Advocates Say Florida Could Save Lives With One Simple Safety Law”

Kill Switch Lanyard

Lanyard photo courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard

In the article Trevor Bach notes five states currently require mandatory wear of kill-switch lanyards (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Nevada), and notes “Florida, the most popular state for boating and also the deadliest, with 62 fatalities last year, is conspicuously absent from the list.”

He says boating safety advocates say the boating industry does not want kill-switch lanyard use to be mandatory, then quotes me as saying “They don’t want mandatory anything”. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

Chris Stanley

Chris Stanley

Christopher Stanley, 17 of North Bay, Ontario Canada, was boating southeast of town with another teenage male on Lake Nosbonsing on Sunday June 15, 2014 about 8:45am.

Details of exactly what happened are still sketchy, but somehow he and his friend ended up in the water with their 16 foot boat circling them in the Circle of Death.

Rescuers were able to save his friend, but Chris slipped below the surface and his body was recovered that evening. A postmortem examination was scheduled for Monday June 16th.

Chris’ friend was taken by ambulance to a medical facility so his injuries could be assessed.

The local underwater search team, OPP Underwater Search and Recovery, spend Sunday searching for his body. Christopher’s body was found about 12 hours after the accident.

Units involved in the search and rescue operation included: North Bay OPP, North Bay Marine Unit, North East Regional Snowmobile All Terrain and Vessel Enforcement (SAVE), OPP helicopter unit, and OPP Underwater Search and Recovery unit.

OPP – Ontario Provincial Police in Canada.

Our coverage of this accident will provide more details on the accident, on Christopher Stanley’s life, then propose a question. Read More→

Motor Boat & Yachting (MBY)published a great investigative article on boat kill switches in the wake of the Milligan family accident in the UK. The article was published in their September 2013 issue, and supported with numerous online materials.

The article titled, The Truth About Kill Cords is accompanied by results of a several question survey that had been presenting to several leading boating organizations and marine companies operating in the U.K. In addition, some videos of testing safety devices are included as well as a video discussing the issue in general.

The Truth About Kill Cords

The Truth About Kill Cords – MBY image


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0 Categories : Propeller Safety News

Nicholas Milligan's Boat / RIB

Nicholas Milligan’s Boat / RIB

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in the UK issued their investigative report on the May 5, 2013 Nicholas Milligan family boat propeller accident at Padstow Harbor today (30 January 2014).

We previously covered the accident at: Nicholas Milligan Boat Propeller Accident at Padstow UK. His family was out for day of fun on the RIB. They were all ejected, the boat began to circle and some of them were struck repeatedly by the propeller. Nicholas and one of his daughters (Emily) were killed. His wife and his son were severely injured (she lost her left leg below the knee). Two daughters had minor injuries and were terrified. Read More→