How to Avoid Propeller Strike

According to US Coast Guard statistics, propeller incidents account for four percent of all boating deaths in the country. Additionally, it is estimated that propeller-related injuries are increasing faster than ever before. Because of the speed and torque, propeller strikes have the potential to kill.

 As the propeller operates below the water line, it is not readily visible to the operator, passengers, and swimmers. Boaters should take the following precautions to avoid motor or propeller strikes:

  • Switch off the engine while boarding or disembarking.
  • Keep an eye out for people near the water.
  • Protect passengers from being thrown overboard.

Devices have been developed to reduce the possibility of “propeller strikes.” These include:

  • Propeller guards (either fully or partially enclosing the propeller)
  • Sensors worn by individuals that electronically shut down the engine and sound alarms if they cross the boundary
  • Engine interlocks that automatically shut off the engine if certain conditions are met.



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