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Author Topic:   Kill Switch safety video by survivors
PGIC posted 07-08-2015 11:19 AM ET (US)   Profile for PGIC  
A couple in Alabama was ejected from a fishing boat when the husband, an elementary principal, took his hands off the wheel [while the boat was going 55-MPH] to reach for his sun glasses that were blowing off. The boat circled and they were both struck by the propeller.

The accident was in late March, the first week in July WHNT (Huntsville AL) released a video of the couples plea encouraging everybody to attach kill switch lanyards. It is a great video.


Tom Hemphill posted 07-08-2015 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill  Send Email to Tom Hemphill     
The narrator for the video describes "...trolling along around 55 miles per hour ... took his hands from the wheel..."

At that speed, killing the motor abruptly could just as easily cause you to be ejected. I don't buy the conclusions being offered by this video.

jimh posted 07-09-2015 03:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I watched the video without the sound. I saw mostly talking heads, and various generic shots that appeared to try to re-create the incident. There were a few seconds of actual photography of some rather nasty and ugly wounds on the back and buttocks of a person, apparently caused by contact with the propeller blades. Other than that actual photography from the incident, the pictures in the video were not remarkable and did not convey much information in themselves. On that basis, I would rather read a well-written first-person narrative of the events in preference to having a television announcer stand on camera and read his version of the incident to me.

I did notice one sequence in the video in which the operator of a boat takes the safety lanyard, forms a slip loop with the plastic dog-collar hook at the end of the lanyard, and then loops the slip loop over the wrist of his right hand, which is shown as operating the throttle. I don't think that is a good practice.

I think Gary's summary of the incident is quite good, and I am not sure I would spend the five minutes necessary to hear it presented in a much elongated manner with the accompanying re-creation of events.

I'd edit the video to about 20-seconds in length. I'd show the wounds received from the propeller, and have some narration that said something like, "This can happen to you if you don't use a safety lanyard."

Buckda posted 07-09-2015 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Just another opinion, but the reaction to this important information is more disappointing than the quality and format in which the information was presented.

This is important. Wear your kill switch lanyard or use one of the remote kill switch devices that are on the market. This simple act will at the least shield you from damage to your boat and other people's property if not protect the life of persons on the water and the resulting situation.

porthole2 posted 07-09-2015 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for porthole2  Send Email to porthole2     
I must have seen a different video. What I got out of it was a safety message to use the kill switch lanyard that many people don't bother with. What happens? Boat operator doesn't have lanyard clipped to himself; a moment of inattention; boat turns abruptly; occupants get thrown overboar; engine does not shut down; still turning RPMs for a stated 55 mph, but now with the helm hard over; people in the water now get run over by their own boat. Moral of the video, which obviously wasn't produced with the average boater you may find on sites like this one, is use your lanyard properly. They probably should have added life jacket use to the story line. "Trolling" was just a poor choice of words, probably edited by a non boater.
jimh posted 07-09-2015 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks for the synopsis of the video. But you left out a lot.

First, there is about 45-seconds of a presenter explaining that what you are about to see was some story they tried to show you previously but could not due to a technical difficulty. I don't need to know any of that. Throw out the first 45-seconds of the video. This fits perfectly with THE WADSWORTH CONSTANT.

The Wadsworth Constant is an axiom which states that the first 30% of any video can be skipped because it contains no worthwhile or interesting information.

The next segment is a voice-over narration by someone laying out the story line to be told

Then we have a jarring change in voice. A new voice takes over the voice-over narration. This is an awful method of presentation. It is reasonable to have an unseen narrator in a film presentation, but it is not reasonable to suddenly change to a new, unseen narrator, and have no idea who is talking. Whoever edited this presentation apparently never went to film school or studied much about the technique of motion picture story telling.

Finally we met the actual person, the guy who was thrown from his boat. He starts to tell parts of the story. Then we get some rapid cutting montages with fuzzy images, intended to represent visually the concept of being thrown out of the boat. I get that notion without having to see these images. I can comprehend what it is like to go from the boat to the water. Next, we get some very quick cuts--flash frames--of a body badly lacerated by the propeller.

In terms of representing the trauma and pain of being thrown overboard and run over by your own boat's propeller, the images created for the video are not very effective. The most effective images are the actual footage of the guy's back and buttocks, and the description of the wounds by the physician that treated them. Throw out all those shaky, out-of-focus, quick pan-zoom shots.

The worst of the injuries are actually not shown. They are blurred out. If you want to have an effect on people about how seriously they can be hurt by their boat propeller, it might be better to leave the really bad injuries in the presentation, not blur them out.

Really, I like Gary's synopsis the best. A guy takes his hands off the wheel, is thrown out of his boat, and the boat runs him over. The only part I would add is to mention the boat was going 55-MPH when he took his hands off the wheel. I am going to add it to his initial article.

I would not normally go on about the video, but Gary introduced this topic in his first article. He said, "It is a great video." In my mind, that makes the video a topic for discussion.

PGIC posted 07-09-2015 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for PGIC    
To jimh

Fair enough. I try to be respectful of others opinions and appreciate you and the other commenters putting down some real thoughts vs the one to three word negative comments we so often see in todays world.

As to you more in-depth analysis of the video, I fear if I had done that nobody would have read it down far enough to get to the video itself which was they real purpose.

Several years ago I coined the term "vaccination" as it relates to powerful safety messages. For example, if somebody gets run over and killed at a railroad crossing in your community you will be much more alert at all railroad crossings and especially at that one for a while.

The purpose of posting the video was to hopefully "vaccinate" a few boaters so they would be more likely to attach their kill switch lanyards for a while.

I know that vaccination will wear off after a while and they will need another booster shot at some time, but hopefully it will protect at least one boater for a while.

As to the dog collar hook over the wrist you mentioned earlier, I think that is Mercury Marine's "new improved clip". You are supposed to be able to clip it to your life jacket or wrap it around your wrist or leg as shown. I am not saying it is a good or bad idea, am just point out what I think it is. If you google for

mercury marine new improved safety lanyard

you will find several references to it.

A big thanks to everybody for their comments

Have a great summer.


jimh posted 07-10-2015 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Gary--I agree with the message, "Wear the safety lanyard." This is particularly important if you happen to take both hands off the steering wheel while your boat is going 55-MPH and your steering system and engine trim is so bad that the boat immediately executes a hard turn that will throw you out of the boat.

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