The most dangerous thing in the water is not what you think. Boat propellers pose a risk that can be easily ignored or forgotten because they are under the water, ‘out of sight and out of mind’. But a strike from a spinning propeller can cause serious injury or even death.
A typical three bladed propeller:
Spins at around 3200 rpm.
Can make more than 100 impacts per second
Can travel from head to toe of an average person in less than one tenth of a second, causing multiple deep wounds.
Boat propeller injuries, if not fatal, are usually severe and disfiguring, resulting in prolonged disability and permanent impairment.
Propeller Safety Tips:
Here are some tips that skippers should do to avoid injuring a person in the water:
Inspect the area near the back of the boat to ensure the area is clear before starting the engine.
Turn the engine off near people in the water even when retrieving a skier as some propellers may continue to spin even in neutral.
Make sure your passengers are aware of the dangers.
Keep a proper lookout at all times, especially when near swimmers, snorkelers, divers or any other activity.
Stay out of designated swimming areas.
Look out for dive flags and keep 50 metres clear.
Attach a propeller guard.
Keep all arms and legs inside the boat and not over the bow, sides or stern at all times. This is not only dangerous but also illegal.
The skipper of every boat is responsible for the safety of their passengers, so every skipper should be vigilant and consider the area around the prop as a hazard zone.
Skippers are encouraged to put a “Take Care, be Prop Aware” sticker on the transom of their boat, as a reminder to everyone onboard of the hidden dangers of spinning propellers. To obtain a sticker, visit your nearest Department of Transport office or pop down to our Tower and collect one from our brochure stand. (Information courtesy of Department of Transport).
Unserviceable or out-of-date Flares and EPIRBS:
Are you aware that our Group collects out-of-date or unserviceable EPIRBs and Flares? Please do not discard them in general rubbish collection or landfill. Hand them in to us and we will organise correct disposal for you. We are located in Breakwater Drive – head down to the Marina past the car park and launching ramps and drive to the end of the road. We are usually open between 0600 / 0700 to 1600 hours, 7 days a week, however, please ring us first on 9652 1950 to ensure that there is someone in attendance.