Tragedy on the Lake
On June 5 A young life was lost, at lake of the Ozarks. No words can or will express the sorrow felt by all. A family suffers a lost, due to a boating accident.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Division Troop F, The father thought the boat was in neutral, unaware that the boat was slowly backing. The mother jump in the water clearing the out board, and the child followed. A young 8 year old boy died on June 5 2021, when the child exited the rear of the water craft and was struck by the propeller.
I am sure in their grief the parents are asking, these very question themselves, second guessing themselves, asking what if.
As in many tragedies, it is news worthy for a period, people will demand action, or at the very least express concern. Then people will move on and this will be forgotten. But it should not.
Why is it, when tragedy occurs, we say how could this happen, what can be done to prevent incidences like this.
Nation wide on a average 171 accidents occur with at least one person struck by a propeller. Out of that 171 propeller strikes, 35 lives are lost.
2020 at Lake of the Ozarks Alone there were 5 persons struck by a propeller one resulting in death. in the State of Missouri there were a total of 15 propeller strikes.
So what precautions can be taken to prevent such events?
To start with do not allow anyone enter the water while the engine(s) are running, even if the engine is in neutral, the propellers are free turning and can cut. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds or longer after the engines are off. then allow people to enter the water, do not dive in head first, use the swim ladder enter the water feet first. Look before you jump.
If the swim ladder in mounted on the stern, think about purchasing a second boarding ladder, and enter and exit the water away form the rear of the boat.
When exiting the water, keep the engines off until all passengers are on board. As well as all lines, pull toys and any other objects are on board.
Another preventive measure install a propeller guard, A propeller guard or a prop guard, as it is more commonly known, consists of a steel cage which surrounds the propeller. The prop guard freely allows the movement of the propeller and safeguards it against rough underwater parts. A propeller guard will minimize propeller injury.
Be an aware boater, many of the newer engines are very quite and run very silently, so do not take for granted that the engine is not running, check it.
Take a boating education class, if you took one in the past, a review does not hurt, can only help.
Have fun on the water, boat safe.