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Archive for Propeller Safety News

Marion Irving deCruz, longtime proponent of boat propeller safety was recently recognized for her decades of dedication to boat propeller safety.

Marion founded Stop Propeller Injuries Now (SPIN) in the wake of the death of her son, Emilio Cruz in a 1993 houseboat propeller accident.

Her tireless work and efforts have made the waters safer for all.

In November 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) passed a resolution encouraging the U.S. Coast Guard to honor her efforts.

Marion was presented the USCG Public Service Commendation award on February 19, 2016 at Morrow Bay, California.

Marion Irving deCruz receiving USCG Public Service Commendation

Marion Irving deCruz receiving USCG Public Service Commendation

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3 Categories : Propeller Safety News

American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has been working with Design Research Engineering (DRE), a consulting firm, for some time to develop a series of warnings that are grouped together (consolidated) for use on certain types of vessels (such as gasoline outboard powered open motor boats) in certain locations (helm, cabin, transom, occupant, deck). Some consolidated warnings use the signal word “Warning” and some use the signal word “Danger”.

ABYC’s May 2015 newsletter announced the release of the new consolidated warnings.

ABYC May 2015 newsletter announces consolidated warnings

ABYC May 2015 newsletter announces consolidated warnings

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Miami New Times continuing coverage of boating safety issues identified Nixon Sandbar as a well known party spot with ties to some major boating accidents (like the DJ Laz accident, and the July 4th Dinner Key accident).

As part of their investigation, Miami New Times shot some video coverage of the weekend of July 4th, 2014 activities at Nixon Beach. The article by Trevor Bach, is titled Partying at Nixon Sandbar on Fourth of July.

The video shows a pretty rowdy crowd, with little to no attention being paid to boating safety. Read More→

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Trevor Bach of the Miami New Times (a paper in Miami FL) authored a major investigative story on the South Florida boat party scene getting out of hand and resulting in several high profile accidents. The last of which, was the quadruple fatality the evening of July 4th off Dinner Key. A 32 foot power boat that had spent the day at the Nixon sandbar party (same site as the recent DJ Laz accident) was headed to Dinner Key in the dark when it struck a 36 foot boat, and bounced into yet another boat. The result was four dead:

  • Jason Soleimani (22)
  • Kelsi Karpiak (24)
  • Victoria “Tori” Dempsey (20)
  • Andrew Garcia(23)

and three more critically injured.

Reference: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths.
Trevor Bach.
Miami New Times.
17 July 2014. Read More→

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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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Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe is known for launching a long running propeller injury awareness program for divers in 2004. That campaign was relaunched in July 2013 for 2013-2014 as “Watch Out! Propellers Can Kill!”

DAN’s new propeller safety campaign focuses on trying to manage the risk of propeller injuries from both sides: from the boater’s point of view and from the diver’s point of view.

DAN Europe notes several divers have been killed or seriously injured by propellers. They believe many diver propeller accidents can be prevented by using good seamanship and divers obeying some basic rules.

The propeller safety campaign includes ten safety rules, five for Boaters and five for Divers.

The #1 rule for both groups has to do with diving flags. Divers are to always place a diver down flag before diving and boaters are to stay 100 meters from a diver down flag.

DAN’s safety campaign is supported by the poster and sticker below which is available in several European languages: Read More→

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Gowrie Group, an independent insurance agency, manages The Burgee Insurance Program, a well known insurer of yacht clubs and sailing organizations endorsed by U.S. Sailing. On 11 July 2013, Gowrie Group issued a press release recommending:

“that propeller guards be installed on all outboard motors used for teaching junior sailing, coaching sailing, running races, and supporting recreational water sports. Propeller guards add an important margin of safety for boats operated around children, sailors, and swimmers.”

The body of the press release extends the list of recommended propeller guard applications to include:

“all outboard motors used for teaching junior sailing, coaching sailing, running races, and supporting recreational water sports (skiing, tubing, swimming, etc.).”

Over half the yachting clubs in the United States use the Burgee Insurance Program. The press release says nearly a thousand yacht clubs and sailing organizations in the U.S. already use the Burgee Insurance Program.

The press release opens with some U.S. Coast Guard propeller accident statistics.

Then it cites Dave Eickmeyer an advocate for propeller guards in Australia, as saying:
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Interest in recreational boat kill cords (emergency engine cut-off switches and lanyards) strongly peaked in the United Kingdom (UK) following the Nicholas Milligan family accident at Padstow Harbor on May 5, 2013.

Interest world wide was also very high after the accident.

As an example of the peak in interest, we investigated Google search frequencies. Google Trends charts popular search terms as a percent of their all time interest (frequency of being searched for) during the selected time interval.

We charted Google “kill cord” searches in the UK:

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In the wake of all the attention focused on kill cords (emergency engine kill-switch lanyards) by the Milligan accident, Powerboat & RIB Magazine (PBR) is taking action will be sending our free “Attach Your Kill Cord” warning stickers with their July issue. They announced the new warning stickers labels were in stock via Twitter on May 28, 2013.

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

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Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigates marine accidents for the United Kingdom (UK). Today, 17 May 2013, MAIB issued Safety Bulletin 1/2013 in response to the recent double fatality Nicholas Milligan accident. The family was ejected from a RIB near Padstow Harbor, Cornwall UK, at Camel Estuary, the unmanned RIB circled, and struck them repeatedly, killing two members of the family and seriously injuring two more.

The kill cord (emergency engine ignition shut-off switch cord / kill switch lanyard) was not in use at the time of the Milligan accident. Read More→

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1 Categories : Propeller Safety News