The danger of propellers

1 April 2015

Boaters are reminded to be aware of the potential danger of propellers to any person in the water.

Recently a 9-year-old, who had been on a skiing day out with his family, was winding up the ski rope when it became entangled in the boat propeller.

Sadly, the child sustained severe lacerations to his head and body. But it could have been a lot worse.

As the Skipper of the vessel, you’re responsible for your passengers’ safety; in fact you’re responsible for everyone’s safety on board your vessel.

To minimise the incidence of propeller strike don’t start your engine until you are certain the area behind you is clear.

Don’t let anyone board your boat or exit your boat from the water when the engine is running.

Take extra care near any other boats that are towing skiers or tubers, and if someone falls overboard, immediately stop, then slowly turn the boat around and keep the person in sight as you approach.

Turn your engine off and then bring the person back on board to safety.

The safety message is simple, ‘take care – be prop aware’.

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, the Personal Watercraft Safety Reference Guide or the Kayaks and Canoes Safety Reference Guide please telephone 1300 183 046, or email


Boating safety