PropellerSafety.com

Archive for kill switch

To: Fell Marine
From: PropellerSafety.com
15 February 2017

We were thrilled to see your entry into the wireless lanyard / kill switch market in the United States.
We recently posted coverage of your MOB+ device after which I dropped you an email asking you contact us after the Miami International Boat Show in response to a few questions we had. My email quickly received an automatic response and yeterday we were contacted by a gentleman in Norway who included a couple others in the email conversation, including a gentleman in the U.S. The email was very informative and inviting to learn more about your product.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

We will visit with you after the boat show about our questions specific to MOB+, but thought of several more general topics related to kill switches we would like to share with you that might be of interest to others as well. So I posted this portion of my conversation with you here as an open letter on the topic.

Much of the content of this email will come from some of our previous posts on these topics. Read More→

Hunter Bland and Conner Young are members of the University of Florida Bass Fishing Team. Saturday January 14, 2017 Bland and Conner were fishing in the FLW bass tournament on Lake Seminole along Georgia’s border with Florida. It looks like the accident may have occurred shortly after blastoff as they are following a wake and several boats run by them to their left. Bland and Young are running about 57 mph, the boat’s hydraulic steering is thought to have malfunctioned, the large outboard motor fliped all the way to the side and the boat swerved hard right. They were both ejected.

The accident was captured by an onboard GoPro camera providing the first ever bass boat ejection video we are aware of. The video is remarkably stable, in high resolution, and even provides a slow motion view. Fittingly, it opens with a scripture.


Ejected from bass boat

Ejected from bass boat


Read More→

Kill switch preventable accident after kill switch preventable accident is stacking up this summer. It is long past time for the industry to investigate alternative methods to prevent Circle of Death accidents. Outboard powered recreational boats from which an operator has been ejected, circle repeatedly striking those in the water.

This post opens with a discussion of the ineffectiveness of kill switch lanyards because almost nobody uses them, then reports on a special control lever created by Vermeer to detect operator presence with potential application to passive (fully automatic) boat kill switch applications.

Vermeer OPS patent application

Vermeer OPS patent application

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0 Categories : Guard Technologies

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

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

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be holding its 92nd meeting on November 6th-8th, 2014 in Arlington, Virgina.

Nonprofit Grant Comments

For the first time ever, they invited public comments about non-profit grant interest areas before the meeting. Each year the Coast Guard awards nonprofits a tidy some of money to promote boating safety and to run some studies, like the annual life jacket wear rate study. In 2013, the grants totaled over $5.5 million. Many boating safety organization live and die by these grants. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

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.