Preventing Propeller Strikes While Boating
Tourists flock to South Florida and the Fort Lauderdale area for the countless vacation opportunities and sunny weather. Residents of the area also indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, including boating on the many waterways and coastlines the state has to offer.
While most boating excursions go smoothly, sometimes things go awry and accidents occur. People who share the water with boats need to be aware of the potential danger, and people operating boats should captain their crafts safely to minimize accidents such as propeller strikes.
Some accidents are unavoidable, but as a boat operator, you can take certain measures, including the following, to maintain safety and avoid a disaster resulting in injuries:
- Turn off your engine when people are embarking or disembarking. This prevents propeller accidents that could harm or maim anyone who falls into the water.
- Do not start your boat with the engine in gear or ride on the transom, bow or a seatback.
- If children are onboard, assign someone to watch them at all times.
- Keep a proper lookout for people who may be in the water.
- Stay clear of swimming areas and take note of warning buoys.
- Wear a flotation device that makes you visible if you should fall into the water.
- Install a device to reduce propeller strikes. Propeller guards, jet drives, pump jets, sensors and interlocks can reduce the occurrence of a propeller strike.
Adhering carefully to the above suggestions can minimize the occurrence of a propeller strike or another potentially deadly boating accident and subsequent lawsuit.