July 4th weekend 2022 boat propeller accidents

We noticed a significant increase in media reported boat propeller accidents over the weekend of July 4, 2022 compared to previous July 4th weekends.

We briefly list the boat propeller accidents for the 6 day period beginning Saturday July 2, 2022 below.

The list of of dozen boat propeller strike accidents includes 6 fatalities, two high profile accidents, and at least four pontoon boat related propeller strikes.

  • FLORIDA – PONTOON 2 July accident – 8 July 2022 KTLO of Mountain Home Arkansas “9-year-old Jonesboro girl injured in boating accident on Norfork Lake” reports a Nine year-old girl was struck by pontoon boat propeller on Norfork Lake in Arkansas on 2 July 2022. The young girl had just approached the boarding ladder when the pontoon boat operator put the boat in reverse to go pickup a group of people that had jumped off a bluff. The girl was life flighted to Springfield Missouri.
  • FLORIDA 2 July – 8 July JAX (Jacksonville Florida CBS47) “Local Man Loses Leg in Boating Crash” reports via video Logan Farquar (spelling uncertain) lost his leg under the Vilano bridge Saturday 2 July 2022 when a ski boat crashed into a small fishing boat Saturday night near St Augustine Florida. He lost his leg to a boat propeller while trying to save his fiancee.

  • Julia Budzinski accident

  • FATALITY VIRGINIA – HIGH PROFILE ACCIDENT 2 July accident – 3 July WRIC (Virginia) “Teen killed in boating accident on James River” reports a 17 year old girl killed by boat propeller on James River in Virginia on Saturday July 2, 2022. Two youth were floating on a tube pulled by a boat. They fell, the boat turned around to get them, that act created a wave that changed the trajectory of the boat. A 17 year old girl was ran over by the boat and fatally struck by the propeller. She was declared dead in a nearby hospital. The girl was later identified as Julia Budzinski, daughter of Mark Budzinski, a Toronto Blue Jay’s coach. This accident received a great deal of publicity.
Julie Budzinski moment of silence at baseball game. Boston Herald photo.

Julie Budzinski moment of silence at a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game

Boston Herald photo

  • FATALITY OKLAHOMA 2 July accident – 3 July KOCO (Oklahoma) “Two drowning deaths on Oklahoma lakes mar holiday weekend” reports Braxton Byrd, 23 of Norman Oklahoma, was wake surfing on Lake Eufuala (Oklahoma) a mile south of Porum Landing Boat Ramp about 6pm Saturday July 2, 2022. He fell, the boat operator went past him, then backed up to him. Braxton Byrd was fatally struck by the propeller. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
  • FATALITY TENNESSEE – PONTOON 2 July accident – 5 July 2022 Tennessean (Tennessee) “10-year-old girl dies in boating accident on Tennessee River during Fourth of July weekend” reports a ten year old girl was riding a tube pulled by a pontoon boat on the Tennessee River on Saturday 2 July. She and the tube contacted the outboard motor in Decatur County. Her injuries were fatal. While the news does not specifically mention a propeller strike, it sounds like that is what happened.
  • MASSACHUSETTS 3 July accident – 3 July (Massachusetts) “New details: Boating accident leaves one person with serious injuries “New details: Boating accident leaves one person with serious injuries” reports a 31 year old male received life threatening injuries to his leg from an outboard propeller near Barnstable / Cape Cod Massachusetts Sunday shortly after 5pm July 3rd, 2022. The boat experienced engine trouble after the accident, it was met by a boat from the Barnstable Harbormaster’s Office which delivered the man to an ambulance, which took him to a life flight helicopter. Life Flight flew the injured man to a Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Center.
  • ARIZONA 3 July accident – 4 July 2022 Havasu News (Arizona) “Teen suffers major injury after boating accident on Parker strip” reports Colorado River Station Marine Enforcement Unit responded to Roadrunner floating bar on Parker Strip on July 3rd. A 17 year old victim was struck in the lower extremities by a boat propeller as the boat was backing off shore. He was life flighted to a trauma center in Phoenix. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

  • Justin Sutherland accident

  • MINNESOTA HIGH PROFILE ACCIDENT 3 July accident – 5 July 2022 Mpls St Paul (Minneapolis Minnesota) “Family of Justin Sutherland Launches GoFundMe After Boat Accident” reports Justin Sutherland, a well known tv chef in Minnesota, was boating July 3rd. His hat blew off, he reached for it, the boat hit a wave, and he was ejected. Sutherland was struck in the head and arm by the boat propeller. “His arm is broken … His jaw is severely broken, … he sustained many lacerations.” This accident has and continues to receive a great deal of press as Sutherland is a nationally known chef.
Justin Sutherland gourmet chef, cropped from Warner Media image

Justin Sutherland gourmet chef

cropped from Warner Media image

  • FLORIDA 4 July accident – 4 July WFLA News8 (Florida) 4 July 2022 “Man struck by boat propeller near Egmont Key” reports a 46 year old man was struck by boat propeller July 4, 2022 near Egmont Key (Florida). Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to the 2pm accident. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue transported the victim to a medical facility.
  • FATALITY LOUISIANA – PONTOON D 4 July accident – 4 July 2022 WAFB (Louisiana) “Teen girl killed by boat propeller after going overboard; driver charged” reports Madison Bradley 17, of Slidel Lousisana, was killed by a pontoon boat propeller on July 4, 2022 when she fell from the bow (bowriding). The boat hit the wake of a passing boat, she and another person fell overboard. They were on the Blind River in Livingston Parish. Six people were on the pontoon boat.
  • MICHIGAN 4 July accident – 5 July 2022 Michigan Live “3 hospitalized after boat crash, propeller slicing in Bay County on July 4 weekend” reports a woman, 32 of Saginaw Michigan, was trying to push a boat off shore. The propeller was not under power at that time. She suffered a large laceration to her leg when she fell from the boat while trying to push it off shore.
  • FATALITY TENNESSEE – PONTOON 6 July 2022 Chattanoogan (Tennessee) “Jordan Matthews, 34, Killed In Boating Accident On Chickamauga Lake” reports Jordan Matthews, age 34 of Hamilton County TN, was bowriding an older pontoon boat on Chickamauga Lake about 1pm July 6th. He fell over the bow, was ran over by the boat, received several lacerations, and was recovered unconscious. He was taken to Rhea Medical Center after receiving CPR and was declared dead at the medical facility.
  • FATALITY MISSOURI 7 July accident – 12 July 2022 Branson TriLake News “Fatal Accident on Table Rock Lake” reports a 15 year old girl and a 16 year old boy were struck by a pontoon boat while swimming in Table Rock Lake on Thursday 7 July. They were swimming at Breezy Point when they were struck by a 2022 Regency pontoon which stuck a rock bluff shortly after striking them. The teenage girl was from O’Fallon Missouri. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Missouri Highway Patrol has labeled the accident as “Persons struck by a propeller/propulsion unit/water jet.
  • STILL FOLLOWING REPORTS – 7 July – multiple reports are coming in of a bass boat running over a pontoon boat on Lake Sam Rayburn in Texas on July 7. One dead, multiple injuries. No mention of propeller strikes but they typically occur when one boat goes over another.

You can compare of list of 2022 July 4th propeller strikes to our list of 2021 propeller strikes for the same period.


  1. Any info on the 17 year old
    From Parker, AZ? I
    Was out there that weekend and heard about it. Poor kid!!!

    SOO sad for ALL of these horrible tragedies. I can not believe there are so many!!!

    • Glad you were safe that weekend.
      Last I heard the teenager was in stable condition in a Phoenix trauma center.

      Thanks for your comments

    • Glad you were safe that weekend.
      Last I heard the teenager was in stable condition in a Phoenix trauma center.

      Thanks for your comments

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