Preventing Propeller Hazards
A typical three-blade propeller running at 3,200 rpm can inflict 160 strikes in one second and the typical boat propeller can travel from head to toe in less than 1/10th of a second. But most propeller accidents can be prevented.
There are many propeller safety devices available for your boat. Anyone operating the boat should wear an “engine cut-off switch lanyard” at all times. Merely removing the lanyard from the switch will shut off the engine, and obviously keep a constant watch on the area around the propeller area when people are in the water. People near the propeller may not be visible from the helm. Make sure there is no people or debris near your propeller
Never allow passengers to board or exit the boat from the stern when the engine(s) are running – even at idle or neutral your propeller may continue to spin.
Make sure passengers are aware of the location of the propeller and remind them of the need to stay clear the propeller(s), especially when operating in congested areas
Call attention to any propeller warning labels around your boat, and especially care when you or other boats that are towing skiers.
Never let your passengers ride on the bow, gunwale, or other locations where they might fall overboard. And be especially careful if children are aboard. If someone falls overboard, STOP and slowly turn the boat around, then turn your engine OFF before attempting to bring anyone aboard.
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