Monday, August 20, 2012

Boating Safety: Propeller Dangers

A whirling cutting machine, spinning at 3200 rpm, able to inflict 160 impacts in a second.
Sound like the diabolical weapon of a movie villain? Think again – it's the three-blade
propeller on your boat.

Children and other passengers love to dangle their legs over the side as a boat speeds through the water. They think it's fun and exciting. Maybe so, but it's also illegal, and extremely dangerous.

Passengers riding with legs over the side can easily slip, fall in the water, and be struck by a moving propeller. This is particularly true in a pontoon-type boat, where the pontoons "funnel" a passenger who slips off the front of the deck directly into the propeller blades.

For these reasons "bowriding" as well as riding on a seatback, gunwale (side), transom (rear), or swim platform while the boat is moving at greater that 5 miles per hour may be considered negligent operation and, in some cases, grossly negligent operation. A propeller can continue to spin after an engine is put into neutral, or even for some time after it is turned off, posing a hazard for swimmers, skiers, and tubers.

I saw an Internet article published today about a girl being cut by a propeller after falling from a boat on a Georgia lake.  This has happened at Lake Murray too - even resulting in death.  Link to article  

Please be careful of propellers while driving a boat or in the water around boats!

Don't Wreck Your Summer Video from U.S. Coast Guard

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