PROPELLER INTERVENTION AND AWARENESS
Rotating at great speeds and with a lot of power, the potential danger posed by boat engine propellers should not be overlooked. Each year hundreds of Americans accidentally come into contact with moving propeller blades. In 2006 alone, the U.S. Coast Guard reported, 234 people were struck by propellers with 28 fatalities.
Since the propeller is located below the waterlinethe intersection of a boat's hull and the water's surface. and may be difficult to see, it is important that people are at all times aware of the propeller. This is most important when in the water near the rear of a vessel or on the swim platformlow platform installed at the transom for ease of boarding.. As a precaution, operators should shut off the engine whenever a person is in the water within close proximity to their vessel.
Safety equipment is available and when used properly can significantly decrease the probability of a propeller strike. Common examples of equipment are:
ladder interlock kill switches
man overboard cut-off switches
lanyard engine kill/stop switches