Your Bar Crusher boat is perfect for aquatic leisure and sporting activities during the summer months. However, when you head off out for a day's seafaring fun with your family and friends, it's important to remember that the most dangerous thing you might encounter in the water is not necessarily in possession of a curved dorsal fin and razor sharp teeth.
Boat propellers are responsible for many injuries and deaths ever year. Here's some sound advice for skippers and passengers on how to 'Be Prop Aware' this season.
The danger posed by propellers
One thing that makes boat propellers so dangerous is that they are hidden under water, out of sight and out of mind. A boat propeller spins at an extremely fast rate, making many impacts per second as it does so. This means that a propeller can travel the full length of a swimmer or diver in a matter of milliseconds, causing horrific deep wounds as it does so. Even if someone survives a propeller strike, their injuries can be disfiguring, disabling and life-changing.
Propeller safety tips for skippers
- If you regularly sail in waters that are frequented by swimmers and divers, you should have a propeller guard fitted to your boat to help reduce the damage caused in the event that someone is struck by your prop.
- Before you set off on your trip, ensure that all your passengers are fully aware of the dangers posed by boat propellers, especially if they intend swimming.
- Make sure that everyone on board knows that it is a legal requirement in Australia to keep their arms and legs inside the boat when it is in motion. This includes sitting on the bow, stern, and sides of the vessel.
- Before you start your boat's engine, always check the area near the back of your boat to make sure it's clear.
- It's your responsibility as skipper of your Bar Crusher to take heed of any dive flags that are displayed on other vessels in the immediate vicinity and give them a wide berth of at least 50 metres.
- Do not take your boat into designated swimming areas.
- When boating in an area where people are in the water, it's a good idea to designate one of your passengers as prop lookout; two pairs of eyes observing are better than just one.
- If you have to stop your boat near swimmers, always turn the engine off. Remember that some propellers can still continue spinning, even when the boat is in neutral.
- Contact your local Department of Transport office and ask for a Take Care, Be Prop Aware sticker to be sent to you. This sticker should be displayed prominently on the transom of your Bar Crusher to serve as a visual reminder of the hazard posed by propellers to both passengers and swimmers.
Be prop aware when enjoying your Bar Crusher this season. Follow the above guidelines to ensure that you have a safe and fun boating experience, every time you take to the water.Share