What piece of equipment on a boat is most important in preventing propeller strike injuries?

Propeller strike injuries are one of the worst types of boating accidents. For your safety, you must know how to prevent these kinds of injuries. Knowing what to do in the worst-case scenario could save somebody’s life or even yours. There’s a small device on the boat console which can be your lifesaver. This switch is called the ignition safety switch, also known as the engine cut-off switch. As the name implies, it turns off the boat engine immediately and the propeller stops, hopefully preventing an accident.

Measures to avoid boating accidents

There are other measures we can take to avoid a propeller strike accident. For example, double-checking that everyone is safely out of the water and never climbing onto the outboard motor to get out of the water are a couple. Also, you should have a spotter to help you in keeping an eye out for people in the water. Normally, divers use flags, which are red with a white diagonal stripe on them to let the boat operators know of their presence underwater.

Florida´s Boating accident information

Back in 2019, a 25 year old man, who was a Marine Biologist, from Palm Beach, Florida, lost his arm in a boating accident. Are you wondering what happened? Yes, he got hit by a boat’s propeller. The driver of the boat had seen dive flags and divers in the area, but he only slowed his velocity down instead of pressing the ignition safety switch, which consequently turned out to be a disaster for both of them. Carter Viss, the man who lost his arm, began working with Palm Beach County Drowning Prevention Coalition, just to encourage boating safety for people who are unfamiliar with it. He’s currently an advocate for boat safety and preventing these types of accidents. Many other people have lost their limbs and their lives to these accidents.

Florida leads the nation with the highest number of boating accidents according to last year´s boating accident statistical report shared by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

boating accident injury avoidanceAs seen on this Florida news website, a man died after getting hit by a propeller after he jumped into the water to save his fiance A report from a few years ago says that in 2017 there were 172 collisions in Palm Beach, in which at least one person was hit by a propeller. In total, there were 31 deaths. There’s also other safety equipment to help prevent propeller injuries, some of which only work with motorboats and not sailboats.

Some of these safety devices are:

  • Wrist lanyards, which shuts off the engine automatically if the boat operator goes overboard.
  • Propeller guards and propeller covers. The first one is a small cage around the propeller, preventing it from hurting someone. The cover is only useful to keep the propeller safe when it’s out of the water.
  • Interlocking ladders, it cuts off the engine when the ladder is in use.
  • Electronic sensors, as the name implies, it senses when a human has entered the water and it sends an alert, cutting off the engine electrically.

In conclusion, please be careful and exercise caution. Use some of the measures explained by experts mentioned above.

Palm Beach County Boating Accident Lawyer

If you or somebody you know has been involved in a boating, sailing, wave runner, or jet ski accident resulting in injury, contact Shannon J. Sagan Personal Injury Law Offices. Please contact us for a free consultation. Call us to make your appointment at (561) 996-1804 (Our Belle Glade Offices) or (561) 533-7800 (Lake Worth Offices) You will not owe any costs or attorney fees unless and until a recovery is made on your behalf.

We serve all South Florida cities, so whether you are in North Palm Beach, Juno Beach, Lantana, Greenacres, South Palm Beach, Pahokee, Clewiston, Palm Beach Shores, as well as, Lake Park, Loxahatchee, Manalapan, Lake Clarke Shores, Atlantis, Lake Worth or Belle Glade and any other cities from Palm Beach County and nearby counties.

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