Media coverage of 2017 recreational boat propeller accidents.
If you are aware of coverage of a 2017 propeller accident that is not reported here, please contact us.
Fatal accidents are coded immediately in front of the reporting data as:
D indicates a U.S. fatality
D indicates a fatality outside the U.S.
- 25 November 2017 Australia accident – 27 November Riverine Herald (Australia) “Arkham Asylum Delivers Insane Win” reports on Saturday 25 November’s Barrie Beehag ski race. Brimstone Racing, a team in the unlimited category, was unable to finish “after one of its racers came into contact with a propeller.” The injured man had a gashed thigh and was taken to the hospital.
- D 12 October accident – 13 October 2017 Mlive (Michigan) “Man dies after his leg is cut off by boat propeller on Lake Fenton” reports Mark Harvey Elmer, 57, was being assisted by a friend at Mark’s fathers boathouse on Fenton Lake in Genesee County. Early afternoon, they were trying to take his boat off the lake for the season. Lake level was low and they could not get the boat off the hoist. Mark was jumping on the back of the boat while his friend was revving the engine, Mark fell overboard, his leg was cut off by the propeller. His friend pulled him to shallow water and used a belt for a tourniquet. A deputy arrived after 911 was called and began administering CPR, but Mark died.
- about Oct 8 accident -11 Oct 2017 CBS Austin (Texas) reports Kristina DeJesus lost her arm to a boat propeller on Lake Travis at a bachelorette party. Her best friend screamed, “Her arm is floating in the water”.
- 17 September accident – 17 September 2017 Redding Record Searchlight (Redding California) “One Hospitalized, One Arrested in Boating Incident” reports Julian Bartra, 32 from San Jose, was in a boat with another man at the controls on Lake Shasta on Sunday 17 September. He fell from the boat near Slaughterhouse Island and the “boat went over the top of him.” He was cut by the propeller and taken to an area hospital (likely Mercy Medical Center in Redding where many other Lake Shasta propeller victims have been taken). The boat operator was arrested on suspicion on BUI.
- 15 September accident – 16 September 2017 ABC channel 5 (St. Paul, Minnesota: “Minneapolis Woman Injured in Boating Accident on Christmas Lake” reports Courtney Godfrey, 30, was boating on Christmas with her husband at the controls on Friday 15 September. About 7pm he made a sharp turn and she was ejected. She “fell overboard and her foot became tangled in the propeller.” She was taken to a hospital and is said to have lost a limb.
- 9 September accident – 9 September 2017 Redding Record Searchlight “Sheriff: Propeller cuts intoxicated boat passenger” reports Liz Machato from San Jose was with a rented ski boat pulling two people on a tube on Lake Shasta Saturday 9 September. She dove into the lake about 3:30pm while the boat was underway. The operator swerved to miss her, her right upper thigh and hip were struck by the propeller. First responders met her at Holiday Harbor where she was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
**************Labor Day Weekend ends Monday 4 September ****************
- 4 September accident – 4 September 2017 KRCR News (California) “Woman majorly injured on Shasta Lake after falling overboard, into pontoon propellers” reports Magdalena Carbajal, 61 year old female from the State of Washington, was on the bow of a rented pontoon boat along with two kayaks on Shasta Lake on 4 September. They were in the McLoud arm of Shasta near Ycotti Cove about 4:15 pm. The pontoon boat hit a wave, the kayaks shifted, the woman fell off the bow, and the boat continued over her. “She was caught in the propeller” before the operator could react. Officers say drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this accident.
- 3 September accident – 4 September 2017 Local 10 (Florida) “Man knocked off personal watercraft, run over by boat off Haulover Beach”>reports a man was riding a PWC / jetski near Haulover Park in Florida on Sunday 3 September. The wake of one boat knocked him off the PWC, then another boat ran over him. He was struck by the propeller and taken to Aventura Hospital in critical condition.
****Labor Day Weekend starts Friday 1 September ********
- 31 August accident – 1 September 2017 KFOR (Oklahoma City OK) “Man arrested, woman injured after being struck by boat, propeller on Lake Hefner” reports a teenage girl fell over the bow of a pontoon boat (another KFOR report says the gate opened and she fell through it) and was struck by the propeller as the boat ran over her very early Thursday morning 31 September on Lake Hefner. Her left leg and ankle were struck by the propeller. She was transported to an area hospital. We have a list of a couple hundred over the bow pontoon boat propeller accidents and a post on how to design pontoon boats to prevent them.
- Summer 2017 houseboat accident in Canada – 19 Oct 2017 Salmon Observer (British Columbia, Canada) “Boating Injuries, Collisions Occupy Rescue Crews” reports a summary of summer rescues including “In one incident, a man received deep lacerations to his legs from a houseboat propeller after sliding down the slide before the craft was stopped on shore.”
- late August Hurricane Harvey accident Texas – 30 August 2017 ABC News “Birds-eye view of flooded Houston captures Harvey’s totality” reports David Phillip, an Associated Press (AP) photograper “was on board a rescue boat when it struck something, flipping him backward and out of the boat. The propeller got his leg before Phillip was pulled from the water, leaving a bruise. He lost his glasses and ruined a camera lens.”
- D 26 August accident in Philippines – 28 August 2017 Inquirer (Philippines) “Fisherman killed in accident at San Roque Dam” reports Jerome Calderone, 21, was fishing the San Roque Dam reservoir on 26 August. His scarf became entrapped in the propeller and he was strangled to death by it. His body was found face down on his boat about 6am August 27th or 28th.
- D 26 August accident – 27 August 2017 Chipley Paper (FL) reports an Alabama accident “Divers recover body of teenager in Ski Lake” report reports Madison Reed, 14, was bow riding a pontoon boat with her feet dangling in the water on Ski Lake on Saturday 26 August. On board were friends and a parent of one of her friends. Madison Reed fell forward, and was fatally struck by the propeller about 5:15pm. Her body was recovered by divers about 9:30pm the same evening. Other reports indicate she was struck in the head by the propeller.
- D?D? 21 August accident – 23 August 2017 Idaho Statesman “Two die, one hospitalized in freak boating accident” reports Neil Jenkins, 68, and his wife, Elaine Jensen, 65, both of Centerville Utah and Mike Kingston, 63, of Idaho Falls Idaho were on Rirle Reservoir in Utah on Monday 21 August (solar eclipse day). All three were ejected and the boat went into the Circle of Death. Elaine Jensen was killed, Neil Jensen died later from his injuries, and Mike Kingston was taken to the hospital along with Neil to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (Jensen by life flight and Kingston by ambulance). No mention is made of the propeller, but the article does note they had to wait til the boat ran out of gas to reach them.
- 20 August accident MAYBE – 21 August 2017 Mid Hudson News (New York) “Woman injured while being towed on wake board on Swinging Bridge” reports Kelly Brohan, 25 of Bullville NY, was riding a wakeboard behind a 22 foot Axis ski boat on Sunday 20 August afternoon on Swinging Bridge Reservoir. Friends were helping her get back in the boat when the tow rope became entangled in the propeller. She “sustained fractures and lacerations”. The sheriff’s office is investigating to see if her injuries came from the ski rope or the propeller.
- 20 August accident – 20 August 2017 Fairfield Daily Voice (Connecticut) “9-Year-Old Man Hurt After He Falls Overboard Near Penfield Reef Lighthouse” reports a 69 year old male fell from a boat he was fishing from off Fairfield on Sunday 20 August. His arm was struck by the propeller. The boat had developed a steering problem and was going in circles (Circle of Death). Two other people were onboard when the boat developed the problem. The injured man was taken to St. Vincents Medical Center. The accident happened in Long Island Sound near Penn Reef Lighthouse. An NBC Connecticut report identifies the injured man as Wigberto Mendez and say the steering cable snapped.
- D 13 August accident – 16 August 2017 Michigan Live “Man who died in Lake Superior was hit by boat’s prop while scattering father’s ashes” reports Robert Louis, 59, was killed in Circle of Death accident during a trip to spread his father’s ashes on Sunday 13 August 2017. A wave washed all 7 on board overboard. Robert tried to re-board the circling boat and was fatally struck by the propeller. They found his body the next day.
- 13 August accident in Croatia – 14 August 2017 Total Croatia Sailing “Swimmer Struck by Catamaran Propeller near Hvar, Has Leg Injured” reports a male was swimming in Borovna Bay on the isle of Scedar near Hvar on Sunday 13 August. His leg was struck by a propeller of a catamaran named Lagosta. An Australian doctor in Croatia on Holiday was able to treat him at the site, then he was taken to Clinical Hospital Center Split.
- D 13 August accident – 13 August 2017 Orange County Register (California) “Newport Beach boater, 70, killed in propeller accident” reports a 70 year old male climbed off his boat to swim near the jetty at Newport Beach on Sunday 13 August. To help him get back faster, the operator backed the large double decker vessel toward him. He was cut by the propeller, pulled on board, and pronounced dead at the Coast Guard dock.
- 13 August accident in China – 14 August 2017 South China Morning Post (China) “Hong Kong fireman and prison officer injured after being hit by speedboat propeller while diving” reports Lai Chun-sin, 30, and Choi Wai-kin, 29, were diving near Tsim Chau off Tai Long Sai Wan Sunday afternoon 13 August. An 8.5 meter speedboat came through and struck both of them with its propeller. Lai was struck in the chest and legs, Choi was struck in the legs.
- 12 August accident in Taiwan – 14 August 2017 Taipei Times (Taiwan) “Man Has lower Leg Severed in Scuba Diving Accident” reports Chiu, 44 from Taoyuan Taiwan, was diving with 15 others near Black Dwarf Cave at Siao Liouciou. They were diving from a boat named Baby 66 out of Shan Fu Harbor. About 530 pm Saturday 12 August the captain started the engines in preparation for the return trip thinking everybody was back onboard. Chiu was in the water near the stern, his leg was amputated by the propeller, other divers on board searched for his leg but were unable to find it. The Captain said he started the engines because waves were pushing the boat toward nearby coral. Chiu was rushed to a hospital.
- D 11 August accident – 14 August 2017 Florida Keys News “Girl, 13, Dies in Boating Mishap” reports Harlie Smith, 13 year old girl, was with her family on a 31 foot Boston Whaler about half a mile south of Lois Key on the ocean side of Cudjoe about 5 pm Friday 11 August. She “got caught up in the propeller” and died Friday evening from her injuries.
- 9 August accident – 9 August 2017 NBC4 New York “Teen Falls Off Boat, Hit by Boat Propeller: Police” reports a teenage boy fell from a boat in Moriches Bay near Moriches Yacht Club on Wednesday 9 August. His left arm was struck by the boat propeller. The boy was life flighted to Stony Brook University Hospital.
- 7 August accident – 15 August 2018 Bay Times & Record Observer (Centreville, Maryland) “Boating accident victim returns to say thanks” reports Jim Walsh was out on his boat on Chester River with his grandson Carter, age 6, on 7 August at Muddy Creek at Kent Narrows. A wave hit the boat, Jim was ejected and struck in the arm by the propeller. Rescue professionals were able to rescue Jim, turn the boat off, and help Carter know everything would be okay. Jim Walsh was lifeflighted to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. On August 13th, a year plus after the accident Jim’s family and those involved in the rescue gathered as Jim thanked them.
- D 6 August accident – 7 August 2017 WDEF (Tennessee) “Man Dies After Being Hit by Boat TWRA Saya” reportsa 48 year old male was at Harrison Bay Park on Sunday evening 6 August. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) says the man was in the water getting ready to wakeboard behind a Moomba boat on Chickamauga Lake when he was fatally struck by the boat’s propeller. The deceased man was later identified and Neal Gibson III.
- 5 August accident – 9 August 2017 Bay Times Record Observer (Maryland) “Man injured in Chester River boating accident” reports James Patrick Walsh of Annapolis was operating a 10 foot inflatable boat in the Chester River, near the north end of Kent Narrows about 4:30pm Sunday 5 August. His 7 year old grandson was also on board. Walsh was ejected from the boat (perhaps by chop on the water), his shirt became entrapped in the propeller, and the boat went into the Circle of Death. Walsh was being drug along with the boat as it circled. His chest and left bicep were struck by the propeller. He was life flighted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
- 5 August accident – 6 August 2017 KUSI (San Diego, California) “Man injured after being run over by boat in San Diego Bay” reports a man was boating on San Diego Bay about 1:30pm on Saturday 5 August 2017. His boat hit the wake of another boat, he was ejected, the unmanned boat went into the Circle of Death, and his arm was seriously struck by the boats propeller. A U.S. Coast Guard boat rescued him while the boat continued to circle. Authorities then tried to slow the boat, “but not before the boat ended up colliding into a Harbor Police Boat. Both boats sustained significant damages.” The injured man was taken to USCD Hospital. He was later identified as Ron Schoors of San Diego.
- 5 August accident in Canada – 13 August 2017 The Sherbrook Times (Canada) “a French Tourist Pays 1110$ for Two Stitches” reports a French tourist was struck in the head by a boat propeller on Saturday 5 August.
- 4 August accident (UK) – 6 August 2017 Eastern Daily Press (Norwich, United Kingdom) “Elderly woman seriously injured by propeller after falling from boat on Norfolk Broads” reports an elderly woman fell from the back of a boat early Thursday afternoon 4 August on the Norfolk Broads. Emergency crews responded to the Acle Bridge Inn near the River Bure. The lady “suffered serious leg injuries caused by a propeller” and was life flighted to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
- D31 July accident (near Greece) – 31 July 2017 Ekathimerini (Greece) “Man, 35, dies after being hit by boat propeller” reports a 35 year old male from Switzerland was “slashed by a boat propeller” in the Ionian island of Corfu (off the Northwest coast of Greece) on Monday 31 July. He had been boating with his wife and was in the water at the time of the accident. The man was taken to General Hospital on Corfu and pronounced dead.
- 29 July accident – 29 July 2017 Holland Sentinel (Michigan) “Boat strikes woman inflicting severe injury” reports Joy Lowe, 45 of Saugatuck Michigan, was in a boat on the Kalamazoo River Near Fennville on Saturday 29 July about 5:30pm. The boat struck a wake, she fell from the boat, and her left arm was severely struck by the propeller. Lowe was taken to Holland Hospital and may soon be moved due to the seriousness of her injuries.
- 27 July accident -28 July 2017 Brainerd Dispatch (Minnesota) reports from Palisade that Brent Thomas Stanczyk, 22 of Farmington Minnesota, had been tubing on Starry Lake about 5:10pm Thursday 27 July. He fell from the tube, the boat returned to pick him up, and he was struck in the face and chest by the boats propeller. Stanczyk was taken to a hospital in the Twin Cities.
- 23 July accident – 24 July 2017 ABC33 (Alabama) “Teenager injured in boating accident on Logan Martin Lake” reports from Lincoln Alabama that a 14 year old boy was attempting to enter a boat on Lake Martin on Sunday afternoon 23 July about 2pm when he was stuck by the propeller. The boy was lifeflighted to Children’s Hospital. We suspect this was an accident at the swim ladder.
- 22 July accident – 25 July 2017 WGME (Maine) “Rogue boat speeds in circles off Biddeford coast” reports a man and woman were in a boat off the coast of Biddefrod Maine on Saturday 22 July. The boat made a sudden turn, both of them were ejected and the boat went into the Circle of Death. The woman was struck by the propeller. “Officials let the boat run out of fuel before it was towed to shore.”
- 21 July accident – 11 February 2020 Daily Comet (Louisiana) “Trial begins in wrongful death lawsuit of man killed in boat crash” reports Jacob E. Fulmer II was killed by a boat propeller off Louisiana 21 July 2017 when a chartered fishing boat stuck a pipeline platform at night. The gas platform, known as the “Sea Breeze Tap”, was said to have been unlit and unmarked. Mr. Fulmer was ejected, struck by the propeller, and died about an hour later from his injuries. A legal case is going to court today against Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC.
- 20 July accident (Australia) – 21 July 2017 GympieTimes (Queensland Australia) ” Man Airlifted After Leg Caught in Boat Propeller” reports a 31 year old male was fishing with some other people from a boat at Orchid Beach off Fraser Island on 20 July. The boat became caught on a sandbar. While trying to free it, his leg was struck by the propeller. He was lifeflighted Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
- D 17 July New Hampshire accident – 18 July 2017 WECT (of Wilmington North Carolina) reports on a New Hampshire boat accident. Zoe Anderson, a 12 year old girl, was learning how to ski about 8:30am Monday 17 July on Newfound Lake. Her parents and a sister were on the boat with her father behind the wheel. Her father was trying to use the boat to pull the rope back in line with her in the water when his hat blew off. During the distraction, the boat struck the girl at a slow speed. “Authorities said the boat was in neutral when the girl was hit by the propeller.” Those onboard recovered the girl, got her to shore, and first responders began CPR, but she died at the scene from her injuries. As to how quickly these events can happen, Sgt. Joshua Dirth of the New Hampshire Marine Patrol said:
“I think this is a family that for all intents and purposes was having a beautiful day out on Newfound Lake, and they were looking to spend the day together, and unfortunately, in a blink of an eye, everything changed. This is a tragedy,”
- 16 July accident – 17 July 2017 Newburgh Gazette (North Carolina) “Coast Guard rescues mother, daughter from rip currents in Oak Island Newburgh Gazette reports on two recent rescues. In one, 5 people were on a burning boat off Cape Cod on Sunday 16 July. A nearby Good Samaritan and the Coast Guard were able to rescue them. A woman among those rescued had cut her leg on the boat propeller while trying to climb a ladder back into the boat.
- 16 July accident – 17 July 2017 Star Tribune (Casper Wyoming) “Boy lifeflighted to hospital after getting caught in boat propeller at Alcova Lake” reports a boy was lifeflighted to Wyoming Medical Center from Alcova Lake with propeller injuries on Sunday morning July 16th.
- 15 July accident (Canada) – 5 August 2017 CBC News Canada “I Thought I was Dead: Alberta Man Recalls” reports Jeff Lovasz, 27 of St. Albert, Alberta Canada, was wakesurfing Jackfish Lake west of Edmonton on 15 July 2017. He fell behind his friend’s boat, was floating on the water, then something “smashed into the back of his head”, he had been ran over by a boat and its propeller. He suffered “a broken scapula, fractured ribs and vertebrae, and multiple deep cuts to his arms, head and back.”
- 15 July accident – 17 July 15 The Dispatch (Ocean City Maryland) “West Va. Woman Injured After Pontoon Boat Fall” reports Alexa Delatorre, 22 year old young woman from Morgantown West Virginia was on a rental pontoon boat Saturday 15 July with five other women in Assawoman Bay. While dancing, she lost her footing, and fell over the front rail (later said to have fallen over the front gate). They got her back onboard and to a dock just south of 49th Street. She was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center suffering from propeller cuts to her back, legs and right foot. The Ocean City area had a rash of pontoon boat propeller accidents about this time last year.
- 15 July accident – 17 July 2017 PropellerSafety.com (Indiana Accident) “10 ejected from boat in Lake Gage IN Circle of Death accident VIDEO” reports ten people were ejected in a Circle of Death accident on Gage Lake in Indiana. Four people seriously injured including a skull fracture and an amputated lower arm. The runnaway boat also struck and disable an Indiana DNR vessel before an officer was able to jump into the runaway boat from a PWC and shut it down. Media reports do not specifically mention propeller injuries or kill switches.
- 15 July accident – 15 July 2017 St. George News (Utah) “Woman sustains serious injury while boating at Gunlock State Park” reports emergency crews responded about 7:20pm Saturday 15 July to Gunlock State Park. A woman had been wakeboarding when the boat operator reversed the boat by mistake. Santa Clara Fire Department, Ivins Fire and Rescue, and Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded. The lady had been cut in the leg and abdomen by the boat propeller. She was life flighted to Dixie Regional Medical Center.Thanks to St. George News for providing some great photos and a video as part of their coverage of the accident
- 15 July accident – 15 July 2017 WTKR (Norfolk Virginia) “Coast Guard helps woman after cutting leg on boat propeller in Virginia Beach” reports from Virginia Beach that the Coast Guard responded about 2:30pm Saturday 15 July to a boat near Broad Bay. A woman had cut her leg on a boat propeller while trying to climb the swim ladder of her boat. She was taken to Long Bay Pointe Marina where the Virginia Beach Fire Department took over the rescue.
- D 14 July – 16 July 2016 Post-Courier (Bougainville / New Guinea) “School Girl Dead Afer Falling Off Boat” reports a school girl from Hagus village in the Halia constituency at Burunoti Skills Training Centre in Bougainville had been sent home from school to get her school fees (like payments for your child to be in school) on Friday 14 July. She was traveling on a 23 foot motorized dingy toward her home “rough seas hit the boat and “forced the young girl overboard. The boat’s propeller cut her on the back of her neck and head killing her instantly.”.
- 14 July accident – 15 July 2017 WBIW (Bedford Indiana) “Teen Seriously Injured In Tubing Accident On Geist Reservoir” reports Alec Harris, 18 of Fishers Indiana, was tubing on Geist Reservoir on Friday afternoon 14 July. He fell from the towed tube in a turn, the boat continued the turn and ran over him. Two 15 year old girls were acting as spotters for the 17 year old operator. Neither girl saw Alec fall. The boat operator did not see him til it was too late.
- D 8 July accident – 9 July 2017 accident Action News Jackson (Florida) “Update: Woman Dies in Boating Accident Near St. Augustine Inlet ” reports authorities were called about 9pm Saturday evening 8 July in St. Augustine Florida concerning a boating accident near the St. Augustine Inlet. A 42 year old woman was in a boat with her husband, she fell overboard, and was struck by the propeller. The woman, later identified as Jodi Nesi, a 42 year old school teacher at Plantation Oaks Elementary. was taken to Flagler Hospital and died the next day.
******** 4th of July Weekend Ends Tuesday 4 July 2017 **********
- D? 4 July accident – 5 July 2017 WKRG (Florida) “Breaking: Search Resumes in Port St. Joe for Missing Jet Skier From Baldwin County” reports from Port St. Joe Florida that Henry Wise, 19 from Alabama, and another male were on a personal watercraft (PWC) near Highland Marina in Gulf County Florida on July 4th. Another PWC was following behind them. A boat collided with the PWC Henry Wise was on he did not surface afterwards. A Coast Guard spokesman said Wise’s “life jacket was cut off by the boat’s propeller” Later reports indicate Gavin Primm, the other young man on the PWC was struck by the propeller and hospitalized. A search is ongoing for Henry Wise. PropellerSafety.com comment – Interestingly this is one of at least two accidents over this 4th of July period in which a life jacket was cut off by a propeller and the victim is missing. The other was in California.
- D? 3 July accident – 4 July 2017 KRCR News (California) “Helicopter, ROV Assist Search for Missing Boy Hit by Boat on Shasta Lake” reports from Shasta Lake that a 12 year old boy, later identified as Auston Strole, was riding towed tube about 8 am July 3rd on Shasta Lake. A girl under 16 was operating the boat. At the boy’s request, she was trying to throw him off the tube. She turned too sharp, hit a wake, and was then headed at the boy. He jumped from the tube. The sheriff’s office reports “the boy’s life jacket was found and had damage consistent with being struck by a propeller.” A search is ongoing for his body near Digger Bay Marina. he Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Boating and Safety Unit, and the California Highway Patrol helicopter are assisting in the search. They are also using an underwater remotely operated vessel (ROV) to investigate potential targets identified with sonar. In California, youth from 12 to 15 can legally operate a boat if they are under the direct supervision of an adult. In this instance, that adult was arrested for being under the influence of alcohol. PropellerSafety.com comment – Interestingly this is one of at least two accidents over this 4th of July period in which a life jacket was cut off by a propeller and the victim is missing. The other was in Florida.
- 3 July accident – 3 July 2017 Scottsbluff Star Herald (Nebraska) “Child Struck by Boat at Lake Minatare, Seriously Injured” reports a 9 year old boy from Colorado was on a paddle board near a boat dock on Lake Manatare on Saturday July 3rd. A boat unloaded some people at the dock and picked up another load of people. As the boat operator (the boy’s grandfather) reversed the boat from the dock, the boy fell from the paddle board, and was “run over by the boat.” A 21 August 2018 article in the Journal-Advocate confirmed the boy, Carlos Valdez, was struck by the propeller and lost both his legs at the hip.
- 3 July accident – 3 July 2017 Fox59 (Indiana) “Woman Injured by Boat Propeller in Monticello Lake” reports from Monticello Indiana that Heather Roan, 33 of Chicago, was swimming with family members on Lake Shafer about 11 am July 3rd. An anchor to their boat became loose, the boat started to drift toward the bank, the boat operator told everyone in the water to get on a tube of climb on so he could start the boat. He started and reversed the boat, unaware Heather Roan was still in the water behind the vessel. She was struck in the lower back by the propeller. They loaded her on the boat, took her to a home on the lake, she was taken to White Memorial Hospital, then life flighted to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
- 2 July accident – 7 July News dot Delaware dot Gov “Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 26-July 2” reports “On July 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers investigated a boating incident that resulted in an individual being sent to the hospital on the Rehoboth Bay near Dewey Beach. The individual was standing on the rear platform of the vessel, when he fell off and was struck by the vessel’s propeller. The individual was treated at Beebe Hospital for severe lacerations to the left leg and released.”
- 2 July accident – 3 July 2017 The News Reporter (North Carolina) “One Injured in Tubing Accident Sunday” reports a man from South Carolina was tubing on Lake Waccamaw on Sunday afternoon 2 July. He fell from the towed tube, the boat came around to pick him up, the boat propeller stuck his leg. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
- 2 July accident – 2 July 2017 Syracuse.com “Man Hit by Boat Propeller on Skaneateles Lake Airlifted to Syracuse Hospital” reports about 6 pm Sunday 2 July a man was injured by a boat propeller on Skaneateles Lake. Deputies of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Navigation Unit were on the lake Sunday due to the holiday weekend and concerns about floating debris from recent flooding. The man was life flighted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. An investigation is ongoing. The injured man was later identified as Kyle Crosley, 28 of Penfield. He was in the water behind the boat when his friend started the engine and reversed the boat.
******** 4th of July Weekend Begins Saturday 1 July 2017 **********
- D 27 June accident – 27 June 2017 WBPF (West Palm Beach, Florida) “Diver Cleaning Yacht Bottom Killed When Propeller Turned On” reports that shortly before noon 27 June one or two divers were cleaning the bottom of the superyacht, Honey, at Old Port Cove Marina. During the process, somehow the forward thrusters were turned on. They “sucked the diver face first into the propellers.” He was pronounced dead at the scene. The man killed was later identified as Luis Alberto Gorgonio-Ixba of West Palm Beach Florida
- D 25 June accident – 27 June 2017 Staten Island Real Time News (New York) “Source: Boat Propeller Injured 26-year-old Jet Ski Rider reports Michael Colini, 26 of Staten Island New York, was on a personal watercraft (PWC) south of the Statue of Liberty on Sunday morning 25 June. He passed in front of a recreational boat, fell from the PWC, and was struck by the boat. Authorities were called at 11:27am. He was unconscious and unresponsive when NYPD Harbor Unit arrived. Michael Colini was taken to NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was declared brain dead the next day and died from his injuries on Friday 30 June.
- 25 June accident – 25 June 2017 CapeCod.com (Massachusetts) “Man Seriously Injured by Boat Propeller in Centerville” reports a man came in contact with a boat propeller on Wequaquet Lake near Centerville Massachusetts on Sunday morning 25 July. A call went out about 11:30am Sunday for rescuers to respond to Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club. Lifeflight was not available so the victim was taken by ambulance to South Shore Hospital Trauma Center in Weymouth.
- 24 June accident – 26 June 2017 Daily Inter Lake (Montana) “Tourist Loses Foot in Boating Accident” reports Travis Baillie, 34 of Calgary Canada, was part of a group of four people wake surfing on Whitefish lake on Saturday 24 June. A surfer fell, the boat operator stopped to allow the surfer to grab the rope and start again, Travis Baillie jumped in, the boat operator was unaware Baillie had entered the water, the boat was restarted. “Witnesses described hearing a loud grinding sound followed by Bailllie’s screaming.” The boat’s propeller cut off one of his feet and the other one was barely attached. Firefighters and a Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks officer were among the first to respond. Their actions are credited with preventing Baillie from bleeding to death. He was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Alcohol was not involved in the accident per the Whitefish Police Chief.
- DD23 June accident – 24 June 2017 PropellerSafety.com “Katlyn Oliver, 4, Killed by Houseboat Propeller on Lake Belton in Texas” reports Katlyn Oliver, 4, was swimming behind a houseboat on her way to shore with her father after her first ever boat ride on Lake Belton in Texas on 23 June. She she became entangled / entrapped in the houseboat propeller they were swimming past. Her father, Patrick Oliver, tried to rescue her, but both his legs were cut off by the propeller. She died about an hour later at Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple Texas. Her father died from his injuries at the same hospital several days later, on Thursday morning 6 July, 2017.See our post on the death of her father.
- D 15 June accident – 17 June 2017 Hawaii News Now (Hawaii) “Army Colonel Killed in Waianae Boating Accident Remembered for Infectious Laugh” reports U.S. Army Colonel Kirk Slaughter, 49, was swimming with his daughter about 7 am Thursday Morning 15 June near Waianae Boat Harbor. A 21 foot fishing boat with twin propellers struck him. He was killed by the boat’s propellers. The propeller guard discussion brought about by the death of Sri Shim back in January 2016 has been rekindled by this recent accident.
- D 13 June accident – 14 June 2017 US News “Coroner: Boater Killed by Propeller After Falling Overboard” reports from Biloxi, Mississippi than William Melton, 77, fell from his boat when he went around a bend in the Tchoutacabouffa River. He was the only person onboard. The boat went into the Circle of Death. Witnesses said the boat circled twice. He was killed by the propeller. WLOX later reported William Melton was wearing a life jacket, the vessel did not have a kill switch, the boat circled repeatedly striking him with the propeller. He died from extensive injuries to his head and extremities. Other reports say he was struck in the head by the propeller after the boat circled him twice.
- 11 June accident – 24 July 2017 ClickOrlando (Florida) “Ocala man injured in boating accident says 5-year-old boy saved him” reports a father of six was towing some children 11 June on Lake Weir. The children fell from the tube, as he went back to pick them up with the 5 year old child of a friend on board, the boat hit a wave and he was voluntarily ejected in an effort to keep the boat upright with the remaining child. The boat went into the Circle of Death and he was struck by the propeller. However, the young child on board was able to turn off the ignition before he was fatally struck by the propeller as the boat continued to circle. Now a month plus later his mobility is very limited and he cannot work for 6 more months. He tells his story in a great video in this news report.
- 11 June accident – 16 June 2017 The Leaf Chronicle (Tennessee) “Boating Accident Leaves Erin Woman With Severe Arm Injury” reports from Erin Tennessee, that Summer “Lexie” Norfleet, 20, was a passenger on a Personal WaterCraft (PWC) about 4:30pm June 11th in the Danville area of Kentucky Lake in Houston County. Both onboard the PWC fell off in front of a pontoon boat. “Lexie” was struck by the propeller. She was life flighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Lexi is a College Junior on the softball team for Northern Alabama University.
- D 10 June accident – 11 June 2017 WSAU (Wisconsin) “Man Identified in Fatal Boat Accident in Tomahawk” reports Justin “J.J.” Kimmons, 23 year old male from Irma Wisconsin, was in a boat going West on the Wisconsin River at Tomahawk on Saturday 10 June. The boat’s engine quit running near the 4th street bridge. Those on board were concerned the boat would drift/crash into the pier or shoreline. J.J. Kimmons jumped in to prevent the boat from hitting the dock. The boat operator was able to get the boat engine re-started, Kimmons was fatally struck by the propeller. J.J. Kimmons was then taken to the north shore of the river where paramedics and EMS units arrived, but he was declared dead at the scene. PropellerSafety comment – this accident appears to bear similarities to two other types of propeller accidents; (1) beached houseboats drifting toward rocks being restarted to keep them from drifting into rocks while people are still in the water behind the vessel, (2) boat stuck on a sandbar, people jump in or arrive to help try to free from the sandbar while an operator is running the engine trying to push it off the sandbar.
- 4 June accident – 5 June 2017 EagleCountyOnline (Indiana) “Air Care Called After Woman Gets Struck by Boat Propeller” reports Megan Schlade, 37 from North Carolina, was in Brookville Lake in Franklin County about 3:30pm Sunday 4 June when “the propeller of a boat collided with her lower extremity.” First responders gathered at Garr Hill Boat Ramp and she was life flighted to University of Cincinnati Medial Center.
- D 1 June 2017 accident WYFF4 – 1 June 2017 (Greenville South Carolina) “Deputy Dies After Falling out of Boat, Getting Hit by Propeller During Training Exercise, DNR Says” reports Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Devin Hodges, 30, along with two other people from the Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were on Lake Hartwell on Thursday 1 June 2017 for a training exercise. All on board were ejected, the boat circled in the Circle of Death, Officer Hodges was fatally struck by the propeller. 911 calls started about 9:30 am. Everybody was wearing life jackets. Early reports are not sure why they were ejected. Independent Mail reports it was a joint training exercise with USACE. Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and USACE both use Pioneer patrol boats about 19 feet in length. The three people were all ejected from one boat. In addition to Mr. Hodges who was dead on arrival at the hospital, two others were transported to be treated for shock. It sounds like the boat they were ejected from was a USACE boat. Details are still sketchy.
- 1 June accident in Bermuda – 16 August 2018 Royal Gazette (Bermuda) “Man ‘lucky not to lose leg’ in fatal crash” reports on a trial involving a 1 June 2017 accident in which a motorboat struck an inflatable in the dark. Charlie Watson was on a unlit 8 meter inflatable boat closely following a lighted boat when a 17 foot motor boat struck the inflatable he was piloting. The vessel Mr. Watson was operating was one of two ferrying guests from a catamaran to Hamilton for dinner. One lady on his boat died and his left leg was struck by the boat propeller. His leg required 117 staples.
******** Memorial Day Weekend ends Monday 29 May 2017 ***********
- 28 May accident – 14 June 2017 Fox2 (St. Louis Missouri) “Boy Injured in Horrifying Boating Accident Goes Home” reports Ashton Yates, 11, fell from the boat and the propeller shredded a nerve in his leg. He came home from the hospital today (17 days later).
- About 28 May 2017 accident – 3 June 2017 Houston Chronicle (Texas) “Memorial Day Weekend on Texas Waters Safer Than Usual” reports a person “suspected of being intoxicated fell out of the front of a pontoon boat and was struck in the legs by the boat’s propeller” on an East Texas Reservoir over Memorial Day Weekend. The specific date was not provided. It is possible this is the same accident as listed below, however officials specifically noted the one below did not appear to involve alcohol, plus this one left the scene which was not mentioned with the one below. Game wardens also noted the increased number of paddle craft incidents (search, rescue, accidents, fatalities) over the weekend.
- 27 May 2017 accident – 31 May 2017 Gainsville Register (Texas) “Denton County Man Injured After Falling Off Boat” reports about 2:30pm Saturday 27 May Memorial Day Weekend, a Denton County Texas man in his 30s was sitting on the bow of a pontoon boat on Ray Roberts Lake, about 20 miles south of Gainsville. While getting up to go to the seating area, he slipped, fell overboard, the boat passed over him, and he was struck by the propeller. The man received severe lacerations to his face and other wounds during this pontoon boat bow riding propeller accident. A game warden noted he was not wearing a life jacket. She said one would have protected his body.
- 27 May 2017 accident – 31 May 2017 Brainerd Dispatch (Minnesota) “Boat Incident Sends Teen to Hospital” reports a father and two of his sons were boating on Bass Lakes (part of Perquot Lakes) on Saturday 27 May. The 18 year old son was operating the boat when the 12 year old son, Gabriel L. Rogers of Roseville, “became frightened and jumped out of the boat.” The propeller then cut the leg of the boy that jumped out. His father transported him to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. The accident was reported about 12:30pm.
******** Memorial Day Weekend Begins Friday 26 May 2017 **********
- May accident in UK – 19 January 2019 Stoke on Trent News (UK) “Man Left With Football-size Hole in Chest After Being Sliced by Boat Propeller” reports an update on the May 2017 accident in which 71 year old Ian Keller survived a propeller strike from a narrow boat after he was knocked off by the tiller. Mr. Keller, some of his physicians, and some of his rescuers were recently reunited. An ITV video report of same date indicates he was entrapped by the propeller.
- Early May accident – 16 May 2017 Texas Game Warden Field Notes “Prop Scar” reports “Comal County game wardens were called to the scene of a boating accident at Cranes Mill Marina on Canyon Lake where a 19-year-old male was struck by a boat propeller when he jumped in the lake unexpectedly to relieve himself. The individual was struck on his left shin and calf and received a significant laceration requiring medical transport to University Hospital in San Antonio.”
- 24 April accident – 7 June 2018 Clarion Ledger (Mississippi) “Timely trauma care saves Madison man’s life” reports a one year followup on Dan Smith, a lawyer, who was ejected from a boat when it struck a wake and ran over by the boat as it circled in what has become known as a “kill switch accident”. He was struck by the propeller in the jaw and lung. The article focuses on how he was saved by the nearby presence of a level 1 trauma unit at UMMC (University of Mississippi Medical Center) and their staff. Dan closes the article with, “If you don’t believe in miracles i would like to have a conversation.”
- 30 March accident – 30 March 2017 CBS12 Boca Raton Florida “Coast Guard Rescues Diver Struck by Boat Propeller” reports a diver on the diving charter boat, Lady Go Diver, “was struck by a moving propeller while in the water.” About 3pm 30 March a nearby rescue helicopter was diverted to about half a mile off shore of northeast Boca Raton. The male diver was life flighted to Delray Medical Center.
- 17 March accident in the Solomon Islands – 20 March 2017 Solomon Star News “Two Killed in Boating Tragedy” reports a 40 horsepower canoe and a 60 horsepower canoe collided in the dark Friday night 17 March close to Kukudu Adventist College about 7 to 8 pm. The vessels had been approaching each other head on in the dark. One turned in the final seconds and the other broadsided it. A young mother was killed by the collision. They have been unable to recover the body of a teenage boy. The young mothers husband was operating one of the canoes. He was struck by a propeller while trying to protect his son.
- 26 February accident in Mexico – 27 February 2017 The Yucatan Times “American Tourist Struck by Boat Propeller While Swimming in Cozumel” reports Hugh Solberg, 79 year old tourist from Minnesota, was swimming in the North Zone of Cozumel when he was struck by the propeller of “The Oyster”. Mr. Solberg suffered injuries to his legs and right arm. He was picked up by ambulance near the Aqua Safari pier. Photos show him injured at the pier on a boat powered by twin Yamaha outboards, but it is unclear if that is the boat that struck him or not.
- 26 February accident in South Africa – 28 February 2017 You.co “Girl Injured by Boat Propeller in Langebaan Lagoon” reports a yacht was stuck on a sandbar at the entrance to Mykonos Harbor on Sunday 26 February. Two semi-rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) were trying to tow the yacht from the sandbar. As they pulled the yacht loose, the family onboard one of those RIBS was ejected and the boat went into the Circle of Death. As the boat circled the three people (father, son, daughter) in the water, the other RIB and a PWC tried to help. However, the 10 year old girl was struck by the propeller. She was taken to Vredenburg Hospital.
- D? February 2017 fatality in France – 22 February 2017 The Sun “Headless Body Washes Up on English Channel Beach in Northern France” reports a dog walker found a corpse the afternoon of Tuesday February 21st. The headless, decomposed body is thought to have possibly encountered a boat propeller in the busy shipping lane. The deceased may be a migrant.
- 16 February 2017 body found – 3 March 2017 leg found – NewJersey dot com “Parts of Human Skeleton Found at Park Along Delaware River” also reports a leg was found Friday 3 March in National Park. It is thought to have belonged to a man that suicide jumped from a Schuylkill River bridge. Both his legs were later severed from his body by a boat propeller. His body was found 16 February per another 3 March story in NJ dot com
- 12 February accident – 12 February 2017 CountOn2 “Boat Propeller Injury in Punta Gorada Hospitalizes Teen” reports a seventeen year old girl fell from a boat “and was pulled into the propeller” on the Peace River at Darst Park in Punta Gorda Forida on Sunday 12 February. She was life flighted to Bayfront Health in Punta Gorda, then on to Lee Memorial Hospital.
- D 10 February UK accident – 10 February 2017 Manchester Evening News (UK) “Body Found in Canal Had Become Entangled in Propeller of Water Taxi” reports a body became entangled on the propeller of water taxi on the Bridgewater Canal near Trafford Wharf Road in Manchester on Friday morning 10 February. The engine died when the body was struck. Police are investigating. The deceased man was later identified as Ian Nally, missing from nearby since 7 January.
- 5 February 2017 accident in New Zealand – 6 February 2017 Stuff (New Zealand) “Teen Girl Injured After Inflatable Overturns on Lake Karapiro” reports three people were ejected when an inflatable flipped over about 7:50pm 5 February on Lake Karapiro. The group had been water skiing. The three people then tried to turn the inflatable boat back over. During that process, a 19 year old girl’s leg was cut by the propeller. The outboard motor was not running at that time. The girl had a deep gash in her leg and required hospital treatment.
- D 4 February 2017 accident in Australia – 5 February 2017 Daily Mail (U.K. paper) “You are my soulmate in this life and the next” reports Matthew Price and his wife Amy were on the Murray River near Ravenswood Australia with friends on Saturday 4 February. About 2 pm they were on a 7.92 meter cabin cruiser (26 foot) powered by two outboard motors. Somehow Mr. Price was critically wounded by a propeller. He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital (other reports say he was first taken to Peel Health Campus, then life flighted to Royal Perth Hospital). Matthew Price died from his injuries Sunday 6 February. The accident is being investigated.
- D Late January 2017 accident off Yemen – 8 February 2017 Business Standard “Eight Somali Boat Refugees Perish Off Yemen” reports on an accident off the southern coast of Yemen in late January involving a refugee boat. A woman fell overboard and died from a propeller gash to her head. Seven men drowned in the same accident. They died while boarding a human smugglers boat. As they were boarding, a Yemeni coast guard boat approached and the smuggler’s abruptly boat took off
- D 1 January 2017 Cayman Islands accident – 5 November 2017 Cayman Compass “Boat fatality was misadventure” reports the findings of a Coroners Jury surrounding the 1 January 2017 death of Darrell Gerald Ebanks, age 49. He and his brother were boating from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club in a Trinidadian canoe, 26 feet long with two 75 horsepower outboard motors. They took the boat out for a test run, but not at high speed. On the way back, the boat made a hard left turn, Darrell Ebanks was ejected and was fatally struck in the head by the propeller.
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