Boat propellers make up one of the most dangerous parts of a boat. Someone who gets in the way of the propeller could easily suffer serious lacerations or amputations.
Propellers are normally in the water, so unless someone goes behind or under the boat, the risk of an injury is low. However, if a person falls overboard or the propeller is pulled out of the water while it’s still running, an accident could happen.
How can you prevent a boat propeller injury?
The first thing you should do is to make sure everyone is seated when the boat is in motion. If you hit a wake or the boat lurches or bounces unexpectedly, your friends or family could end up being thrown overboard. You should not allow anyone to ride on the bow, transom or gunwales.
Next, if you see a diver-down flag where you’re boating, stay at least 100 to 300 feet away, depending on your location. If a diver is below, you could accidentally hit them with your boat propeller if you’re not cautious.
Finally, if someone does go overboard, stop the engine immediately. Though you may want to turn around and help them, it’s essential to make sure they’re not in the way of the propeller. For example, if they fall off the swim platform, they could end up under the boat and in the way of the propeller. If you cut the engine, you can help minimize the risk of injuries from the propeller.
Boating can be a lot of fun, but you need to be safe. Take the time to learn what to do if someone goes overboard, and talk to your passengers about being safe around the propeller.