Prop Tragedies Trending

Jet Drive Boat

Could jet drive boats like this Destino be the solution?

This jumped out at me while scanning the local boating news today, and I hope it’s not a trend that continues. Three young folks were injured by boat propellers in three separate accidents in New England over just the past few days. The tragedies were all under different circumstances…

On Tuesday, a teenage girl in Maine was ejected from a boat when it hit a rock, and she ended up getting run over by the boat and hit by the prop. (more from

Another teenage girl on the Cape was struck by a prop this past Saturday and suffered multiple injuries in an incident in which details have not been released. (more from the Boston Herald)

Also on Saturday, a young man in Westport, Connecticut, was in the water when his buddy accidentally put the boat in reverse and severely cut his leg. (more from WesportNow)

All of these incidents were just terrible, and our thoughts are with the victims for speedy recoveries.

And while all of these events are still being investigated, all I could think about is if and how they could have all been avoided.

Maybe these couldn’t have been avoided, but a few things come to mind that might help prevent future prop accidents…

Increase the number of prop-less jet boats for recreational boaters, require more boater education, an Autotether kill switch to automatically kill the engine when someone goes overboard, less crowds on the water. Who knows? We don’t even know the details yet of all these events. Let’s just hope tragedies like those of the past few days of do not continue to show up in the news.

Photo is of a Destino 20 taken at SailQuest, a boat show in Milford, CT, May, 2012. Copyright © Andrew Canepari, Nautical Sites Media.