Comments sought on propeller-strike report

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The Coast Guard and the American Boat and Yacht Council released a draft report, "Human Factors Analysis of Propeller Strikes," prepared by CED Investigative Technologies Inc.

The report concludes that no universal solution exists to mitigate the risk of injury from accidental contact with boat propellers — an issue that the Coast Guard has studied since as early as 1988.

“While no universal solutions exist for this problem, propeller guards have been shown to offer limited protection under certain conditions with particular hull types and engine combinations and are one method of mitigating this risk of injury,” the report states.

“Other mitigation methods should be studied to extend the opportunity of mitigating injury from propeller strikes,” according to the report. “These methods can include training, the use of alert technology, and even modifications to boat layout, such as the location of boarding ladders.”

The report is open for comment until April 11.

People injured by boat propellers have brought lawsuits against several boatbuilders in recent years. The National Marine Manufacturers Association has formed a task force to review the report and provide comment.