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Safety Campaign: Boating and Propeller Accident Prevention


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#21 mslf500

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:54 AM

If I'm riding in a boat, I'm not worried about getting hit. It's when I am in the water.

The point is, if my captain can't be bothered to move a couple of hundred yards further off-shore to protect someone else, what does that tell me about his operation?

You're a "safe" boater, I'm a "safe" driver-except for that time I was distracted for a split second and bumped into the back of a car at a stop light. Okay, other than that, I'm a "safe" driver....I don't think any captain purposely intends to dust off or brush by anyone. But what about the diver or snorkeler that surfaces right in front of him and the captain is distracted for a split second?

I'm licensed to practice architecture in about 17 states. My initial licensing exam was 32.5 hours long and had a 25% passing rate. (And attorneys cry a river about how long the bar exam is.) Almost every state I work in requires me to take continuing education classes. The absolute minimum I am required take is 8 hours a year. If I don't, I lose my license or pay a fine. A hour seminar/class is nothing to get worked up about-especially if it isn't mandated.

I used to do a lot of Class 5 and 6 whitewater kayaking. Big water. You name it, I probably did it. It wasn't unusual for find some yahoo on my hometown river attempt to do the rapids in an open canoe, no pfd, no floatation and a cooler full of beer. Invariably, they would wrap the boat on the rocks, spill the contents and nearly drown on the river. We would rescue them and attempt to salvage the boat. We then gave them a lecture on boating safety. Not because we personally cared about them, but because a boater drowning could place restrictions on the rest of the boaters that actually practiced safe boating techniques. (We actually had some of them ask us to retrieve their coolers for them. We told them where they could find the cooler on shore, if we could find it, but that it would be empty as that was our "booty fee" for saving his life.)

The moral of the story is that you can do things voluntarily or wait for the next accident to happen and then have to comply with new government regs. That's how all governments work.
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#22 Carey

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 08:13 AM

II don't think any captain purposely intends to dust off or brush by anyone.


I'm sure they don't want to get a big fine or worse for killing a tourista. However, I'm telling you that there are a good number of capis out there that are showing off what big balls they have. And that's not a problem that is going to go away except to hit them where it hurts -- their pocketbook. I gotta agree with Mike on that. Mexican guys in general, particularly older guyz, tend to be pretty macho already. But if they work in the rugged outdoors, it seems to compound that quality.

Please know that I am most certainly not speaking of all or even MOST Mexican men, capis or outdoorsmen. But we all know there's a goodly share of the ones I'm talking about out there and it is my contention that it is mostly these individuals that are causing the problems being discussed here.
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#23 CZMDM

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:56 AM

I have had two incidents where captains rammed our boat while we were at anchor. I agree that there are many safety issues that need to be addressed. I think it is a really serious problen that needs to be addressed by the Marine Park. I also think that snorkeling off-shore without a boat, with the amount of small craft traffic that we have, is not a very good idea.

The problem I have with some posts on this thread is this: I have to deal with a ton of BS to operate here. Immigration, the city and the marine park are always coming up with something to keep me on a month long scavenger hunt. I have been boating since my early 20's and I have never, ever had a boating accident or received a citation for bad boating and in fact have made several open water rescues of passengers of sinking boats and divers lost in the channel. So when I hear somebody say that if I don't go to this seminar I should get negative publicity out of it I don't get it. It sounds like grade school when some idiot does something and the teacher punishes the entire class because she can't enough to figure out who is the true culprit. Instead of me taking some course because some other guy did something wrong I think it would be more fair and much more effective to get the guys data (boat name and mat. number) and the offended party should go to the captain of the port and spend their time filing a complaint.
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#24 Charles

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 01:14 PM

I hope they include good photos of the damage that occurs to the boat when prop collides with scuba tank. This appears to be more of a campaign that might have merit for the general public in many locales. I doubt there is any shortage of knowledge about the law and regulations among the operators that use the marine park.

I wonder if a promotional campaign that publicized the participants, allowing them to use the logo on their boats and their websites, how about having real legal penalties, enforced and those that claim "to be green", they get hit with triple the fines when they ignore the regulations.

One would think the fear of having to pay a $1,000 pesos fine for killing someone would be effective. Now if a diver is well into the boating channels, where a reasonable person would not expect an encounter, would they be held civilly and criminally responsible if they cause damage to a boat? A scuba tank can do terrible damage to a prop when hit at 40 MPH.

The real danger of ignorance and lack of familiarity is from those renting jet skis and other water craft that don't have a clue. The reality of the situation comes from those that know better and just don't care. The marine park is so heavily regulated toward those that are legal and obey the rules, but they seem powerless to curtail illegal poaching which has long been a major problem.

All I know is I feel so much better already. It be a nice touch to hand out smiley face, happy buttons too! Will they serve beer and mixed drinks?
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#25 mslf500

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 10:24 AM

I went to the seminar and was pleased by the turnout. My guess is about 45-48 people were there. I saw my dive op represented.

I can read Spanish better than I can understand it spoken, so the text on the power point presentation was helpful to me. Some of the photos were pretty gruesome and you could hear a few people gasp at what a prop did to a couple of people.

I've been keeping a causal eye out for boats in our area. Oddly Scuba Du is one op that hugged the shore for some reason (two times that I saw). One of the Twister boats came close to shore at high speeds on one of their trips. There was no one in the water during any of these instances.
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