Young Florida girl critical after boat propeller strike

According to a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an 11-year-old girl was climbing from a towable tube into a boat on a Florida lake last weekend when the propeller severely injured her leg. The girl was taken from the lake to a hospital in critical condition.

These kinds of boat accidents are avoidable, local residents say. Boaters should be aware of their surroundings at all times, and always turn off the engine when anyone wants to enter or leave the boat. Boaters should also be equally cautious when towing someone, and ensure that children play near the bow instead of the stern.

Advice such as this may be common sense to some, says the Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman, but avoidable accidents like this happen all too often.

Boaters may have friends aboard who are more prone to accidents while drinking, or children may dive under the surface, out of view, and resurface dangerously close to a propeller. Any number of events could occur that threaten the safety of family and friends in the water.

There have been many propeller-related incidents on Florida waters, unfortunately. It happens more often than people think. It’s a problem, but one that should be able to be avoided.

It is critical to keep one’s eyes and ears open for these types of behavior while boating. According to My Fox Tampa Bay, one expert says, “It’s just about being safe and being conscious about your surroundings.”

Source: MyFoxTampaBay.com, “Authorities preach boat safety in Bay Area waters,” Anthony Miller, Oct. 23, 2011