Newport Beach Boater Fatally Injured in Propeller Accident
A 70-year-old Newport Beach man died after he was severely cut by his boat’s propeller. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident was reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol the afternoon of August 13, 2017 as passengers aboard the large double-decker boat attempted to save the man. The accident occurred after the man tried to climb aboard the swim step that was lowered to help him get on the boat after he and three others swam in open waters near the jetty, officials said.
At that time, someone on the boat backed it toward him to help the man get back on the boat more quickly. It was then that the man was cut by the boat’s propeller. He was pulled aboard and several people tried to do CPR. He was pronounced dead at the Coast Guard dock by Newport Beach Fire Department paramedics. Officials don’t believe alcohol was a factor in this fatal boating accident.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of this man who was tragically killed. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Boating Accident Statistics
According to the California Division of Boating and Waterways, in 2016, there were 322 boating accidents in Southern California that resulted in 14 fatalities and 116 injuries. These accidents represented 55 percent or more than half of all accidents statewide, 44 percent of injuries and 28 percent of deaths. Compared with 2015 accident totals, incidents increased 14 percent, and injuries and fatalities decreased by 4 percent and 26 percent respectively.
Orange County has 48,144 registered vessels, about 7 percent of the statewide total. In 2016, 87 boating accidents occurred in Orange County resulting in no deaths, but 15 injuries. These accidents represented 27 percent of all boating accidents in Southern California and 13 percent of the injuries.
Based on this news report, it appears that the man was cut by the propeller of his own boat. However, it is not clear as to who operated the boat and what type of qualification or certification that individual had. This incident emphasizes the importance of exercising safety procedures and protocols at all times when boating. Here are a few steps everyone would be well advised to take in order to avoid propeller accidents:
- Skiers in the water who are waiting to be picked should wear visible clothing and hold a ski out of the water.
- Never put the engine in reverse and back toward a swimmer or skier or just about anyone in the water. When you pick up someone from the water, make a gradual turn back and then shut off the engine.
- Don’t put the engine into gear until you see that everyone who was in the water in seated safely inside the boat.
- Never enter swimming zones.