PropellerSafety.com

Yamaha Possible Coverup of Propeller Guard Documents Exposed

Yamaha Prop Guard Statements

Yamaha Prop Guard Statements

In March 2012 Yamaha announced a new stainless steel propeller guard for outboards on flood rescue boats in the UK and made several statements about how great it was, how well it performed, and even how prop guards were necessary when people were in the water near the boat. About October we became aware of Yamaha’s new propeller guard. In mid October we began posting some materials about it and some of Yamaha’s own statements about their guard.

The boating industry has long defended itself in propeller injury court cases by claiming propeller guards don’t work. Among their objections, the industry claims guards create too much drag, reduce performance (top speed), effect the handling of the boat, are not durable enough, get bent into the propeller, and they create blunt trauma injuries when they strike people.

But Yamaha was making the exact opposite statements about their propeller guard. Yamaha said their guard worked great, minimized drag and performance reduction, improved handling, was strong and durable for use in shallow water, and guards were essential for operating rescue boats near people in the water.

Our mid October 2012 posts echoed several of Yamaha’s own comments.

By early November 2012, everything Yamaha ever said about the propeller guard AND all records of the guard’s existence vanished from their website. We made many attempts to contact Yamaha about why they pulled all of their materials about the propeller guard, but they will not respond. That leaves us to suspect Yamaha erased their statements to protect the boating industry’s long standing legal defense, “Guards don’t work”.

Among the many specific statements made and deleted by Yamaha about their propeller guard were: Read More →

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Research Projects for Senior Design Classes, Masters Thesis Projects, Industrial Design & Other Researchers

Most college students in engineering and design take one or more design project classes, often a Senior Capstone Design Projects Class, in which they work individually or as teams to develop solutions to problems. We are trying to tap this resource and encourage students to consider selecting design projects related to propeller safety. More student design projects would help grow the body of knowledge available to the industry and to boaters. In addition to engineering and design students, we also welcome those from all fields and encourage them to consider projects in this area for their capstone classes. If you or others are interested in a college design class project or capstone project in propeller safety, propeller injury avoidance devices, or related fields, please view the projects listed below and contact us for additional assistance.

Propeller Guard

Propeller Guard

A few Masters and Doctoral students have written thesis and dissertations in this field. We strongly encourage Masters and Doctoral students looking for thesis and dissertation topics to contact us and discuss some of the possibilities available in their specific field of interest, as well as those looking for topics for scientific and technical papers.

We list of several possible boating propeller safety research projects below and will be posting more over time. Read More →

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Kevin Rivera-Cornejo killed by rental houseboat propeller on Shasta Lake

Kevin Rivera-Cornejo, 23 of San Jose California, was on the swim deck of a rental houseboat at Corey Cove on Shasta Lake in California about 4:30pm Friday 6 September 2019.

His father, Hector Rivera, was at the controls beaching / mooring the houseboat. Onboard were family and friends.

Kevin either jumped in or fell into the water when the houseboat was being reversed.

houseboat marina on Shasta Lake in 2006

a houseboat marina on Shasta Lake back in 2006

Initial reports say Kevin screamed and his father stopped the boat. Kevin Rivera-Cornejo “sustained fatal propeller cuts to his lower extremities” per KRCR News. Read More →

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USCG releases Recreational Boating Statistics 2018

USCG Recreational Boating Statistics 2018

USCG Recreational Boating Statistics 2018

U.S. Coast Guard released their annual 2018 recreational boating accident statistics report on 26 August 2019.

Total counts for 2018 Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) reported accidents, injuries, and fatalities were down compared to 2017.

2018 USCG BARD reported accident statistics were 4145 accidents, 2,511 injuries, and 633 fatalities.

2017 USCG stats were 4,291 accidents, 2629 injuries, and 658 fatalities.

For 2018 USCG reported 177 propeller accidents, 177 injuries, and 25 fatalities.

2017 USCG stats were 172 propeller accidents, 162 propeller injuries, and 31 fatalities.

Thanks to all those at USCG whose efforts helped make this annual statistical report of boating accidents possible.

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, those spreading boating safety messages, 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.


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Media still misleads boaters on Kali’s Law impact on fatalities

Our June 2019 post, Kali’s Law: Misleading Fatality Statistics explained in detail how the media is publishing misleading boating fatality statistics surrounding Kali’s Law.

Kali’s law will require the use of kill switch lanyards on certain power boats under 26 feet beginning September 1st, 2019 in the State of Texas.

Texas media outlets continue to vastly over estimate the number of boating fatalities per year that will be prevented by this law.

For example, today, 22 September 2019, CBS Austin posted a story titled, “‘Kali’s Law’ goes into effect Sep. 1st, aims to cut down on deaths from boating accidents”. Portions of that article are copied below.

Kali's Law CBS Austin report

Kali’s Law CBS Austin report 22 August 2019

As seen in the article, CBS Austin says if Kali’s Law had been in effect in Texas in 2018, instead of 29 fatal boating accidents, they would have only had 3.

That is a gross misstatement of facts. Read More →

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RYA Kill Switch lanyard wear PSA 2019

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) of the United Kingdom (UK) released a great “wear your kill switch lanyard / kill cord” Public Service Announcement (PSA) August 6, 2019.

In the UK kill switch lanyards are referred to as “kill cords”.

RYA’s PSA is titled A Kill Cord Could Save Your Life.

While the PSA is supported by an online page of text, it will be best known for the accompanying 1 minute video below.

RYA Kill Switch Video

RYA Kill Switch Video

Read More →

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Sensor Based Detection of people near boat propellers: Patents

The phrase Virtual Propeller Guard broadly refers to methods used to detect the presence or likely presence of people or objects in the water that may be struck by or pulled into a boat propeller. Long ago we posted a more concise definition of Virtual Propeller Guards.

With increasing activity in the use of sensors to detect people at risk of being struck by a boat propeller we decided to try to bring most of the relevant patents on the topic together in one location.

In the instance of this post, we will only be referring to patented approaches using sensors to detect the presence of people in the water at the stern / behind the transom of a recreational boat. Those in the water may include swimmers, floaters, those on tubes, those on or at the swim ladder, water skiers, wake boarders, wake surfers, those standing in shallow water near the vessel, those riding a PWC, those in a Kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), people being rescued, or any other conveyance or activity that may place people in the water behind the stern of a recreational power boat within a distance of about 10 feet of the boat propeller. Patents listed below may not cover the entire range of applications or distance described above.

The Volvo Penta image below is an example of these types of patents.

Volvo Penta Patent 8,195,381

Volvo Penta U.S. Patent 8,195,381 sketch

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Brunswick Neural Network Person Detection patent issued

We continue to salute Brunswick for their efforts to detect people in the water near a recreational boat.

Basics of the Patent

U.S. Patent 10,372,976 Person Detection in a Marine Environment invented by Troy Kollmann and Jon Nowick, assigned to Brunswick issued on 6 August 2019.

The patent’s first claim describes detecting people in the water near vessels (1) using at least one image sensor, (2) that “at least one image sensor” detects visible light, (3) that “at least one image sensor” is at at angle and distance to the water at the rear of the vessel, (4) the images are scanned to detect the presence or absence of a person, (5) the scanning module includes an Artificial Neural Network (ANN), (6) that ANN being trained to detect patterns within the image associated with a person in the water behind the vessel, (7) the system outputs detective information regarding the presence or absence of a person in the image, (7) wherein the ANN module is trained using positive and negative images of objects in the water from a similar viewpoint and distance at the stern.

U.S. Patent 10,372,976 Person Detection in a Marine Environment

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2019 USCG Reauthorization bill: mandatory kill switch wear?

The U.S. Coast Guard is reauthorized each year in an annual bill in which some changes may be introduced.

Attwood Marine Products universal (7 key) boat lanyard / kill cord

Attwood Marine Products universal (7 key) boat lanyard / kill cord

The 2018 USCG reauthorization bill as passed requires engine cut off switches (kill switches to prevent the Circle of Death) be installed in most recreational power boats less than 26 feet in length.

The 2019 USCG reauthorization bill as it has passed the House (HR 3409) required mandatory kill switch wear on recreational power boats less than 26 feet in length when underway if a kill switch is present.

Per the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) the bill would also “grant the Coast Guard “equivalency” authority, allowing the Coast Guard to streamline approval of the recreational boating industry construction standards and new technologies, while maintaining the highest level of safety.”

Currently, and historically USCG requirements pertaining to boat building and boating safety that are codified into Federal Regulations are sometimes dated (old and no longer represent current practices), plus they may not specially allow the use of more modern technologies that have since become available. It takes considerable effort and time to change Federal Regulations. Plus in the current environment it has become even more challenging. It sounds like this part of the legislation may help with these problems.

This bill will still have to pass through the Senate, likely require being resolved between the two houses, and be signed by the President of the United States. Read More →

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Broussard bass boat kill switch ejection video

Michael Broussard was bass fishing on Toledo Bend Reservoir with his father in 2018. Michael was operating the boat and failed to connect his kill switch lanyard.

In April 2019 he posted an on vessel video of the event in multiple resolutions on YouTube.

Broussard bass boat ejection

Broussard bass boat ejection

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Rex Chambers passed 15 June 2019

Rex Chambers

Rex Chambers

We are sorry to learn of the passing of Rex Chambers, well known professional bass fisherman. He spoke out about outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats after his May 2014 accident on Lake Wheeler in Alabama. In that accident, his 250 horsepower Mercury outboard came in on him and Danny Pettus. Both men were seriously injured but survived. Rex shared his personal experiences in that accident in his his 19 May 2014 column in the Cullman Times titled, Outdoors: A Brush With Death on Lake Wheeler. His article raised awareness of the existence of these accidents.

Rex Chambers' boat with outboard motor broke off

Rex Chambers’ boat with outboard motor broke off

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Kali’s Law signed by Texas Governor: boat kill switch law

Kali Gorzell

Kali Gorzell

Greg Abbot, Governor of Texas, signed Kali’s Law on Monday June 10, 2019 per a Soundings Trade Only report dated 11 June 2019.

Named for Kali Gorzell, the law will require mandatory use of kill switch lanyards on certain vessels.

Kali’s Law will go into effect September 1st, 2019.

Kali's Law signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbot, 11 June 2019<br> image courtesy KSAT12 San Antonio

Kali’s Law signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbot, 11 June 2019
image courtesy KSAT12 San Antonio

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