Propeller Safety Year in Review 2016
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.
Early January 2016 – The Leash was launched. This high strength tether is designed to prevent large outboard motors, such as those on bass boats, from breaking off and flipping into the boat when the outboard strikes submerged objects.
9 January 2016 Shri Shim was free diving with his stepson in Hawaii when he was fatally struck by the propeller of a passing boat. His stepson was also struck. His death led to a call for propeller guards on recreational boats in Hawaii.
20 January 2016 U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals docketed Bean’s appeal in the Barhanovich case. Suzuki had been released from the case by summary judgment, Bean filed an appeal in late 2015.
19 February 2016 U.S. Coast Guard bestowed the USCG Public Service Commendation award on Marion Irving de Cruz, long time boat propeller safety advocate in a ceremony held in Morrow Bay, California.
4,5,6 March 2016 – The Bassmaster Classic returned to Tulsa Oklahoma and Grand Lake / Grove Oklahoma. Below is an nice photo of Chris Lane (running The Leash) preparing for Blastoff on Day 1.18 May 2016 – Emilo’s mom, Marion Irving de Cruz passed away. Its impossible to sum up her life or even just her contributions to boat propeller safety in a few words. Goodbye for a time Marion, We love you!
5 May 2016 Aiden McKitrick, 3, was struck by a pontoon boat propeller on Lake Ray Hubbard in Texas. This young boy, the son of a fireman, captivated the hearts of thousands.
6 July 2016 Kaelynne Driscoll, 8, and her father were riding tube on Skaneateles Lake in New York. They both fell from the tube, and were both struck by the propeller when the boat came around to pick them up. This young girl was very severely struck by the propeller. Her progress and the Good Samaritans who rescued her continue to be followed in the local press.
16 July 2016 we posted our Design Chart for preventing outboard motors from entering boats.
21 July 2016 we posted our Log Strike Mode chart providing more insight into how outboard motors break off and enter boats when striking submerged objects.
29 July 2016 Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court award of $23 million in the 2005 Derek Hebert Circle of Death fatal boat propeller accident. The Teleflex steering system is said to have failed due to being slightly low on oil.
8 August 2016 we covered the start of a cluster of pontoon boat over the bow propeller accidents. Eventually, there were 6 accidents in 8 days. We called it to the attention of the U.S. Coast Guard. Our understanding was USCG would be discussing the accident cluster at NBSAC.
Ten Years Ago – 18 Aug 2006 Britteny Lindt, 15 of Highland Village, was riding an inner tube behind a jet ski on Lewisville Lake (Texas). Britteny was a cheerleader for Marcus High School. A boat allegedly swerved to avoid hitting something else and ran over her. She was fatally struck by the propeller. Her parents went on to raise funds for promoting boating safety laws with the Britteny Sage Lindt Fund for several years.
17 September 2016 Faith Kalei-Imaizumi was severely struck by a boat propeller during a canoe race in Hawaii. This rekindled the drive for guards in Hawaii following the Shri Shim fatality earlier this year.
30 September 2016 the Clippard vs Yamaha case settled.
20-22 October 2016 NBSAC 96th meeting held in Arlington, Virginia. A subcommittee meeting on 20 October was to cover “Recent Propeller Injuries & Discussions of Potential Mitigation Strategies”. Another session the same day was to cover “Propeller Safety & Engine Cutoff Switch Safe Boating Campaign.
4 November 2016 US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals partially found for Bean, bringing Suzuki back into the Barhanovich case.