Unfortunately, boating accidents as a result of propeller strikes occur. As a captain, I fortunately have never witnessed a person become injured due to coming in contact with a boat prop. Importantly, it is imperative to follow all necessary safety measures to prevent this from ever happening. Injuries as a result of propeller can cause serious injury and death. Here is how to help avoid a boat prop injury. 

4 Ways To Reduce The Risk Of A Boat Prop Injury

As a boater, you should be mindful of avoiding injuries while on the water no matter if you have passengers in or out of the vessel. Here are 4 ways to reduce the risk of a boat prop injury. 

 Educate Passengers On Remaining In The Boat 

One of the best preventative measures to avoid an injury from a boat propeller is to educate passengers on remaining in the vessel. 

No passenger should enter the water until they are given clearance by the person who is operating the boat. 

Keeping people out of the water while the engine is running is critical to avoiding accidental prop strikes that can result in injury or death. 

Prevent People From Falling Overboard

Yes, people do fall overboard while boating, even in calm waters. With that said, it is critical to prevent passengers or the operating from going over the side of the boat and into the water. 

There are a few reasons why accidental over boards occur. Here are the primary ways. First, rough seas toss passengers over the side. Secondly, wet decks cause people to slip and stumble overboard. Third, passengers and operators reaching over the side accidentally lose balance and tumble into the water. 

To reduce the risk of people falling overboard, remain centered in the boat and seated while it is in motion. Never cling to the gunnel, especially while underway. 

Remove The Kill Switch

As a captain, I regularly got in the with my clients, family, or friends. If you’re the boat owner and operator you can follow a specific safety measure. 

Don’t miss out on all of the fun by staying seated at the helm. Once the boat is secured on a mooring ball or at anchor, hop in the water. 

However, before you do so, remove the kill switch at the console. Pulling the kill switch will prevent the boat from starting. 

Importantly, this is crucial when you have kids or adult passengers who are unfamiliar with running boats. 

The ignition of vessels is most often controlled by turning a key or pushing a button. Kids or inexperienced adults can accidently start a boat if they are near the helm, bump the throttle, and put the boat in gear. However, removing the kill switch will avoid this from occuring.  

Avoid And Limit The Comsumption Of Alcohol While Boating

Unfortuantely mixing significant amounts of alcohol with the motion of the sea and hot sun doesn’t boad well for boaters. 

With that said, limiting alcohol consumption is essential to maximize safety while boating. A boat prop injury can be caused by consuming alcohol. 

The operator should always refrain from drinking alcohol. Without question, reaction time and the ability to make a sound decision will be reduced. Hold off on drinking until you return back to the dock. 

As far as passengers are concerned, they should be asked to limit alcohol intake. Becoming drunk will unquestionably lead to making poor decisions. 

Passengers who have had too much to drink are more likely to fall overboard, fail to follow instructions, or distract the operator of the boat. 

For this reason it is important to ask people to stop drinking if they are appearing to be feeling heavy effects from the alcohol. 

Legal Ramifications Are Likely In Boating Accidents

Look, the last thing you want to do is find yourself in a legal situation as a result of a passenger being injured by the propeller. 

In the event of an accident, the authorities will need to be notified and you’re at risk of being sued by the passengers. 

In order to prevent legal action from being taken against you, follow all of the proper safety measure to avoid an accident in the first place. 

Prevent A Boat Prop Injury

Boating is dangerous but can be done safely by following safety procedures and being smart. Injuries as a result of a boat propeller never end well because of the sharpness and speed in which it turns. For this reason, remain vigilant and keep your passengers safe.