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Palm Beach diver loses arm as group hit by boat - Florida

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by soldsoul4foos, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    2,402
    1,612
    113
    Most boaters don't know how to do an emergency stop. (On most boats, you close the throttle all at once and turn the wheel/tiller all the way to one side. It's scary for passengers. On a fast boat, it's scary for the operator if they've never done it). You can stop in a couple of boat lengths, or less, from full planing speed. There are videos on youtube.

    Most boaters, even if they know how to do an emergency stop, will not do one unless they are damn sure there is an emergency, because they don't want to upset/frighten their passengers.

    Most boats, when the throttle is casually closed and the tiller left straight ahead, will go quite a considerable distance before they stop (or slow down enough not to pose a hazard)
     
    Johnoly likes this.
  2. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami
    890
    800
    93
    I've had to do that once that I recall - I was coming back from Catalina Island on plane and a blue whale popped up close enough that 12 years later I have visions of it filling the front windows. In a 25-ft Parker I would have decisively lost that collision.
     
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,234
    23,888
    113
    Well, this happened in Florida and I am discussing that.
    When Dr Nicosia ran over Rob Murphy, he actually gunned the throttle and turned his boat into Rob. It seemed to be a part of the fight, flight or fright mechanism... he was on his phone, looked up and knew he was in the wrong place with flags around him, so he sped up and turned... again, right into Rob.

    Remember, if the divers have seen you coming, they are trying to get out of your way. If you turn, you're likely to hit one. Just cut the engine. No moving props is what's important. No, they're not the only thing to cause an injury, but they are what cause amputations.
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,662
    3,200
    113
    You answer my question.

    Thanks
     
  5. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    2,402
    1,612
    113
    I think this is bad advice at several levels.

    Generally whoever's at the helm of the boat, has a responsibility to be able to control their boat. That means that they should perform drills and cultivate the proper reactions to various emergencies. Unlike diving, the safety of others is at stake. Among important aspects of controlling a boat, is being able to stop, and knowing the best, safest, and most effective way to stop the vessel, and how much room it takes to stop.

    The second fact to consider is that the propeller(s) on a boat are going to continue to turn as long as the boat is moving just like the wheels on a car are going to turn as long as the car is moving. On nearly all boats in the size range we're talking about here, pulling the throttle control to the center stop/neutral position disengages the clutch and the propeller freewheels, which it will do with great force and substantial speed until the boat comes to a stop.

    Swimmers and snorkelers can't take effective evasive action vs. a boat going 20 knots. They are too slow and there isn't enough time. On SCUBA, there may be time to descend.

    The foundational responsibilities of the operator of any the vessel are to keep an appropriate lookout and choose an appropriate speed. These responsibilities have been part of maritime law and tradition since before the age of sail, and apply worldwide, to all vessels of every type and size. They are codified in the COLREGS as rules 5 & 6:

    And these should be the only messages that the swimming/snorkeling/diving/kayaking/sailing/rowing/etc community should be sending to the power boat community. Be able to control your boat. Keep a proper lookout. Choose a safe speed.
     
  6. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,234
    23,888
    113
    Rob Murphy and I agree and disagree with you. He saw the boat coming straight towards him and was well out of its path when Nicosia (o?) finally saw the flags, punched the throttle and turned onto Rob. Rob had realized what was happening and turned duck to descend which saved him, but not his legs. Rob first thought the doctor had run him over intentionally. If Nicosia had merely stopped his craft or sailed on through, no one would have been hurt. I don't know a single diver, snorkeler or swimmer who would knowingly swim into the path of an oncoming vessel. If they saw you coming, and situational awareness on the surface is just as important as it is below, then they would have vacated the projected path of the vessel. I know, I sure would have. But then, I don't leave the helm when underway and if possible I like to have a look out as well. 4 alert eyes beats two buried in a phone. If I'm floating waiting for a pickup or swimming on the surface, I stop every few minutes and assess who is where and what their heading appears to be. I have done miles (ours) of backwater snorkeling in the Keys from the shore, and this attitude has kept me out of harm's way.

    If a flag was present, and there are indications that it was, the victim was not in the least "at fault". You can have the right of way and still be injured or worse. Don't be so engrossed in what you're doing in the water that you don't spot potential dangers. If I see a boat coming at me, I'm going to take evasive actions.
     
    Bob DBF likes this.
  7. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,662
    3,200
    113
    I heard about hydrodynamics of a moving & incoming propeller would suck objects towards it and chop them to bits.
     
  8. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    23,963
    33,760
    113
    It would take a pretty big prop to pull in a person. More horsepower than 600, for sure.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  9. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    2,402
    1,612
    113
    I think you're taking the wrong lesson from this sequence of events.
     
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,234
    23,888
    113
    You wouldn't swim out of the way of an oncoming vessel? Why not?

    The very best way to avoid an accident is constant vigilance. Whether you're driving the boat or avoiding it, you should do whatever is needed to prevent contact. But why put your self in such a situation? Thinking that you can pull a save out of your butt can and often results in calamity. Use enough situational awareness in a boat or in the water and you won't ever have to worry about "emergency stops". An ounce of avoidance is worth a ton of emergency stops.
     
    Sam Miller III and Bob DBF like this.

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