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Archive for Propeller Safety

Fell Marine will be showing MOB+, their wireless kill switch at the Miami International Boat Show this week per their 8 February 2017 press release. They will be in the Fugawi Software booth and have two center console boats on the water in Mag Bay Yachts slips.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB is a popular nautical abbreviation for Man OverBoard.

Fell Marine has partnered with Mag Bay Yachts of Adelanto to install MOB+ on all their future boats.

Fell Marine is a subsidiary of a Norwegian firm, Fell Group AS.

Fell Marine’s MOB+ literature repeatedly touts its electronics do not interfere with existing systems on your boat or other wireless systems.

They say their product brings style, design, and comfort to this market, and their system can be restarted by those remaining on board just 6 seconds after someone has been ejected. Read More→

0 Categories : New Products

Over the years we have seen many boat propeller warnings that were not as effective as they should have been for all kinds of reasons. Over the last 40 plus years I have looked at thousands of warnings on many kinds of equipment and none of them have ever made me sick.

All that changed Friday 3 February 2017 when we walked the Tulsa Boat Show and my eyes encountered the warning below.

Super Air Nautique GS aft facing seat warning

Super Air Nautique GS aft facing seat warning – closeup port seat

Just attempting to read the warning while the boat was sitting on the trailer made me nauseous. I called Lora over to try to read it, she looked at it and turned toward me with a very perplexed look on her face. 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

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→

3 Categories : Memorials

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be meeting April 21-23, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia for its 95th meeting (NBSAC95).

The Coast Guard recently published a request for public comments in the Federal Register to be submitted by April 14th for distribution to NBSAC Council members. We responded today with two public comments.

Public Comment #1 – we resent the same public comment we sent back in October 2014 about the industry ignoring the scenario of large outboard motors striking submerged objects, breaking off boats, and flipping into the boat with the propeller still under power and turning at a very high RPM.

Public Comment #2 – at NBSAC94 a request was put forth to look into the October 2007 dismissal of the proposed Houseboat propeller safety regulation USCG-2001-10163. Advance materials for NBSAC95 include the Federal Register entry for the rejection of 10163. Our 2nd public comment requests NBSAC (1) review three pages of our previous report on errors made in the rejection of 10163, (2) publicly respond to the points made on those three pages based on conditions at that time so the errors of the past will no longer misguide the conversation of potential future actions. Then we suggest some steps for NBSAC and the Coast Guard to consider in any current efforts to address houseboat propeller injuries.

Our second comment included a copy of our 2010 report analyzing USCG-2001-10163 and its rejection. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

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

Listman Trial - Rendering of Alternative Propeller Guard

Listman Trial – Rendering of Alternative Propeller Guard image courtesy of CVN

We previously covered Hawaii House Bill 2024 requiring mandatory use of propeller guards on all recreational boats within 500 meters of shore.

The bill was introduced and passed its first reading on 25 January 2016.

On 27 January 2016 the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs (OMH)

The bill was heard by OMH on 12 February 2016.

OMH recommended the bill be passed with amendments on 17 February 2016, the same date testimony on the bill was heard before OMH in a Public Hearing.

Public testimony could be submitted online. Submissions were posted as a group on the Hawaii State Legislature page for the bill. The first page is the testimony of Suzanne D. Case, Chairperson of the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Suzanne D. Case: State of Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
 
“While propeller guards may decrease the possibility of critical or fatal injuries in some instances, they can also interfere with the operation of the vessel that can hinder navigation, for instance, debris such as plastic bags can become entangled with the prop guard and cause cavitation. Propeller guards are also not manufactured for all vessels as they are typically affixed to outboard engines but may be impractical to install on sailboats and certain straight shaft vessels.

She goes on to say her Department thinks public outreach, training, and education would be more effective. She notes some of those programs that are already underway including mandatory vessel operator boater safety training and Boating Safety Week.

Prior to 17 February, the proposed bill HB2024 was to take effect upon its passing. It would obviously take some time for the industry to respond and prepare to meet those requirements. We are used to seeing the Coast Guard use dates like three years after passing, then the industry will try to move them back further.

However, in this instance the bill was amended as House Bill 2024 HD1 with an effective date of 24 December 2088. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations