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Old 01 October 2013, 17:26   #31
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In disagree. There have been many instances in the U.S. in which the operator went overboard and was immediately struck by the propeller (not struck by the circling unmanned boat). Traditional kill cords do not stop the engine fast enough to prevent propeller injuries in these instances.

There have also been many accidents in which kill switches have failed, including those used by the U.S. Coast Guard themselves. They can rip loose from you, break, get caught on something on your way overboard and rip off you, etc.

Plus some boats have struck submerged logs or floating objects and the operator was hit by the outboard motor or propeller flying into the boat as they were flying out.

Plus there have been instances in which the kill cord stayed with the person overboard, but the engine kept running.

But, I do agree that if you wear a kill cord properly and test it often, there will be far fewer kill cord preventable accidents to report. However, I think UK recreational boating accidents that meet certain criteria (such as fatalities or requiring hospitalization, resulting in a missing person (never found), resulting in loss of the vessel, or total damage to a vessel) would be a good place to start. They could be logged in a database to allow frequency estimates, estimates of trends, identify emerging problems, allow economic justification decisions to made. etc.

Another great thing kill cords do is keep the boat close to where the boat operator was ejected. This can prevent drownings in several instances.

gary
I see your point, but in the uk if I fall out of my own boat, kill cord works, I scare myself, climb back in and carry on its never reported or recorded in any way.

Don't get me wrong. Kill cords work, are cheap, simple, reliable and should be worn within all reasonable situations.
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Old 01 October 2013, 17:32   #32
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I don't think this is off topic - we're talking about safety, and people doing the right thing.

Why don't the rules apply just because the BBC is filming?
They only had to go another 1/2 mile to be outside the limit - ...but the pictures may not have been so picturesque.

People will watch this & may think it's OK to go at that speed out of the river "because they saw in on the BBC".

Personally I think the speed limit is set far to far out, but it is the limit & should apply to all, unless there's an emergency - e.g. lifeboat, bringing in a casualty etc...I don' think "filming" is a valid reason - there's no reason this could not have been done further out.
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Old 01 October 2013, 17:45   #33
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Not true - they record and log many hundreds of leisure craft incidents per annum - reported by individuals, harbour authorities, coastguard, RNLI, Police etc
An example of a few in the latest safety digest, published today:
The three files you cite include a total of three recreational boat accidents and one of them was a vessel of substantial size.

I am aware that individuals can contribute accident reports to MAIB but they are not required to.

Plus if MAIB does have some sort of recreational boat accident database, we have never read of its availability.

I suggest you read "UK Water-Related Incident Database Gap Analysis" which we cited in our review of the BBC program. The study done by the UK government is at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/v2_final_r...a_analysis.pdf

I suspect things have changed a some since it was written, but it is a good place to begin a discussion of UK boat accident statistical sources.

gary
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Old 01 October 2013, 17:45   #34
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Originally Posted by PGIC View Post
However, I think UK recreational boating accidents that meet certain criteria (such as fatalities or requiring hospitalization, resulting in a missing person (never found), resulting in loss of the vessel, or total damage to a vessel) would be a good place to start. They could be logged in a database to allow frequency estimates, estimates of trends, identify emerging problems, allow economic justification decisions to made. etc.
Wouldn't though. I'll bet MustRibs little swim in the IrishSea isn't on the MAIB's database because it wouldn't have been reportable even if he was a commercial vessel. Nor for your criteria. Without knowing how often a KC does its job and stops the boat when the helm goes for a paddle its hard to know if its been effective. You need some denominator in your stats as well - are there more power boat hours per anum?

However, pretty sure that MAIB do log all reports (If you were a UK citizen you could request the info under the FOI Rules) and I'd think that between the Police, CG and RNLI almost all recreational boating accidents that would have met the commercial reporting regs will be being reported voluntarily. MAIB says the fatality list in their annual report is not a complete list of waterbourne fatal accidents which would be correct as they don't take diving accident reports, swimmers, suicides etc. Suspect it does cover all fatal RIB accidents.
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Old 01 October 2013, 18:23   #35
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The BBC approached me during Round Ireland via the BMF/RYA initially to gain background data then to be the interviewee. The position of the programme from the outset was to ask why the industry failed to support the call for legislation and they had been discussing this with Heddon Johnson well before I was contacted.

Aside from my interpretation of what the BBC Interviewers ‘angle’ was likely to be there was no information as to what the questions should or would be and the part you see shown is a snapshot of probably about 12 minutes of direct questions and answers plus about another 30-40 minutes of filming afloat and ashore.

The interviewer (Sam) as you can see was very direct and persistent and clearly had prepared well as probed long and hard about the use of killcords and why particular I/the RYA wouldn’t support legislation.

It was a shame that the parts where I countered some of Sam’s observations were not included. I don’t suggest that the program was unfairly cut but the reality in these situations is the interviewer chooses the questions, doesn’t tell you what they are going to be - so that you can have a prepared for discussion - so you have to fly by the seat of your pants and to cap it all they then get to include the elements in the show that they prefer as they do the cutting. I am not complaining at all (and indeed I rather enjoy such discussions) but the reality is/was that there was a very clear angle coming into the interview and a 12 minute or so off the cuff and direct interview was never going to lead to a nicely balanced discussion.

I believe the BBC has erred in not being clear by explaining to those watching that the ‘Powerboat Expert’ (James Hobart) interviewed and demonstrating the Coast Key product has a vested interest insofar as he is the UK Distributor of the product. I am surprised that in today’s climate at the BBC they are not clearer on something like this as an independent powerboat expert suggesting a solution is somewhat different than the distributor doing so.

However, I think the question the BBC is asking is the wrong one. The question should be ‘Why are people not wearing killcords and what can/should be done to drive an increase in usage*.’ (* Whilst not ignoring the benefit of other new methods of achieving the same)

Heddon Johnson states that clearly “education has failed” because of events such as Padstow. In part I feel he is right insofar as yes there are still too many people who fail to wear a killcord yet completely bought into the idea when being trained. What I disagree with is the step he then makes that because it has not worked so far, that therefore we should legislate. If the education we impart through RYA Training hasn’t been enough then making it law won’t make the difference either and what we need is to educate better.

From my point of view I think the problem is a failure on a part of the industry generally to target the end user via multiple channels to persuade them of the benefit using a killcord and risks of not doing so. In contrast to the RNLI Lifejacket campaigns which have really increased usage over the years aside from two or three stickers (and of course RYA Training) there has been no concerted effort and no attempt to change mentality through hard-hitting campaigns. Yes we train people through RYA courses and hopefully that persuades them to use a killcord but clearly it doesn’t work with everyone.

So what are these ‘multiple channels’?

• The RNLI through their various means of communicating with boaters
• The BMF through boat sales companies (new & old) and insurance brokers/companies
• National Boat Shows through LIBs & SIBs features – as per the safety stand set up by the RYA & BMF at SIBs last month
• The RYA through training and whatever other campaigns can be run (eg RYA Active Marina events)
• Magazines such as Powerboat & RIB Magazine, MBM etc
• Ports and Harbour Authorities through their contact with boat users

So how is this progressing?

Post Padstow I figured that I had two options i) hope that someone else did something about it or ii) Try to use the position I have on the BMF Council, as RYA Powerboat Trainer and as a RNLI Volunteer with close links with the Poole based Coastal Safety team at HQ to see what can be achieved.

In the weeks following Padstow I had meetings/conversations with numerous relevant parties and I continue to try to keep the subject high on the agenda in the relevant places.

In life we all have choices as to whether we take a back seat or try to drive change and I hope that the work that others are doing that is not visible yet to improve things bears fruit.


Regarding wireless killcords or other developments

To clarify I have no issue whatsoever with developments that can improve safety. Indeed in our industry we are regularly faced with new technological developments whether related to navigation, engines or other systems and fully embrace them.

I am disappointed that Gary/PGIC on his website has decided to assert (with nothing from the interview to support the assertion) – that I believe ““Get lost innovators, new boating safety products are a distraction.” Frankly PGIC if you want to know what I think ask me do not seek to hypothesise on my behalf.


So what is my problem with such a product?

It is not a problem with this product or concept but I don’t believe that such a product will actually materially reduce the number of such incidents occurring - and thus is a ‘red herring’.

It strikes me as fairly simple logic that if a person fails to wear a killcord round their leg that they will very soon fail to wear the electronic version round their neck or keep it in their pocket. Very quickly they will start to i) Leave it hanging round the wheel/from the throttle, or ii) Leave it somewhere else on the boat where they don’t need to actually have it on them or iii) Fail to transfer it to the ‘new’ helmsman as they change over.

Yes of course some will use it perfectly – which is great – but it won’t solve the underlying problem.

This brings me back full circle to my proposed approach which should target a change in mentality.

Sadly usage will not change overnight – as much as I wish it would. If tragedies like Padstow and that of Tristan Johnson don’t persuade boaters of the need to wear a killcord then sadly we need a more thoughtful approach which Is why I disagree with legislation. Legislation may make it illegal and yes there will be some increase in usage but not enough and many of those that would then wear it would do so without buying into the why. Furthermore, with no means of policing it, it becomes a hollow/unenforceable law.

Changing a mentality takes time and effort and everyone has a part to play. Where possibible as individuals if you have friends that boat and don’t use a killcord challenge their logic, if you are in the marine business then we have a part to play in various ways and we have a responsibility to try to make a difference too.

Regards, Paul
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Old 01 October 2013, 18:23   #36
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You need some denominator in your stats as well - are there more power boat hours per anum?

However, pretty sure that MAIB do log all reports (If you were a UK citizen you could request the info under the FOI Rules) and I'd think that between the Police, CG and RNLI almost all recreational boating accidents that would have met the commercial reporting regs will be being reported voluntarily.
The U.S. Coast Guard keeps trying to run surveys to get the denominator you speak of (typical annual hours of operation of certain kinds of vessels in certain regions of the country)

As to almost all recreational boating accidents that meet commercial reporting regs being reported voluntarily, I can only speak to the U.S. where USCG often estimates only about 10 percent of the accidents that should be reported are. Plus a recent study we cited in our review of the BBC study estimated non-hospitalized boat accidents at about 120 times the number that had been reported to the USCG BARD database. That estimate was made from doctors office and emergency clinic visits resulting from boating accidents that did not require hospitalization.

There are plenty of differences in our two populations. Your (UK) population may self report when they are not required to, ours (USA) does not self report when it is required to.

gary
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Old 01 October 2013, 19:05   #37
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The UK does not require the reporting of recreational boating accident statistics. There are basically no statistics. A few groups (RNLI, HM Coast Guard search and rescue reports, etc.) gather some data regarding the accidents they encounter. RYA does not collect or collate any accident information per a 2006 study. MAIB investigates some high profile recreational boat accidents that come to their attention, but do not log boat accidents in general.
I believe that in reality (even if not obligated to do so) ALL fatal marine accidents in UK waters are reported to and at least a preliminary investigation undertaken by the MAIB.
Quote:
Its hard to control something you are not measuring.
but we do know that prop strike is not the main cause of death at sea.

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The UK is not reporting any of them to a central database. If you are going to even begin by estimating how big the problem is, you need to be reporting and recording them.
we are quite a small country with a small marine community - I expect most people here could tell you how big the problem is without a database.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGIC View Post
However, I think UK recreational boating accidents that meet certain criteria (such as fatalities or requiring hospitalization, resulting in a missing person (never found), resulting in loss of the vessel, or total damage to a vessel) would be a good place to start. They could be logged in a database to allow frequency estimates, estimates of trends, identify emerging problems, allow economic justification decisions to made. etc.
as noted I believe the MAIB will be aware of any fatality and probably most life changing injuries. The law in the UK requires all sudden or violent death's to be reported (usually via the police) to the Coroner or Procurator Fiscal. The police and or Coastguard are very likely to have been involved in any fatal prop strike response anyway. I believe it is normal police practice to involve the MAIB in any serious boating incident. We have very few maritime police in the UK, and our CG's don't have investigative powers so it is no surprise that they would want to hand on the baton to others with more knowledge.

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Plus if MAIB does have some sort of recreational boat accident database, we have never read of its availability.
Well they do publish stats - but don't reveal their sources!

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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
However, pretty sure that MAIB do log all reports (If you were a UK citizen you could request the info under the FOI Rules) .
No requirement for residence or citizenship to make an FOI Request. I imagine that with an ongoing investigation on the topic the information is probably also relatively readily available.

Quote:
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Plus a recent study we cited in our review of the BBC study estimated non-hospitalized boat accidents at about 120 times the number that had been reported to the USCG BARD database.
do we care about non-hospitalized boat accidents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel View Post
Sadly usage will not change overnight – as much as I wish it would. If tragedies like Padstow and that of Tristan Johnson don’t persuade boaters of the need to wear a killcord then sadly we need a more thoughtful approach which Is why I disagree with legislation.
do we actually even know that Padstow was caused by systematic kill cord avoidance - or could it (as was hinted here) be an error in helm changeover or a rare forgetfulness - neither would be easily solved with either legislation or education.
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Old 01 October 2013, 19:09   #38
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Response to Paul Glatzel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel View Post
I am disappointed that Gary/PGIC on his website has decided to assert (with nothing from the interview to support the assertion) – that I believe ““Get lost innovators, new boating safety products are a distraction.” Frankly PGIC if you want to know what I think ask me do not seek to hypothesise on my behalf.
So what is my problem with such a product? ... It strikes me as fairly simple logic that if a person fails to wear a killcord round their leg that they will very soon fail to wear the electronic version round their neck or keep it in their pocket.
Thanks for clearing up the "red herring" issue and thanks for appearing on the broadcast. I just reworked the post on our site to include your more detailed objection (you think boat operators will forget to wear them like they forget to wear conventional kill cords and some will forget to transfer them to the next operator).

I agree those are both valid points that need to be considered and weighed when considering using a wireless lanyard. We also encourage wireless lanyard manufacturers and developers to consider those issues when designing updates and new models. They may be able to directly address your issues.

As we wrote on our site, I thought you did a good job of fielding some tough questions.

As to getting education to work, the U.S. Coast Guard has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to promote the wearing of life jackets / PFDs, but adult open motorboat wear rates still hover at about 5 percent.

The U.S. Coast Guard 1989 Propeller Guard report recommended safety campaigns be as vivid as possible and include underwater impact scenarios. However, when USCG did that with "Don't Wreck Your Summer" a couple years back the boating industry was able to ban the Public Service Announcement because they said it showed boating in a bad light.

While we are neutral on the issue of mandatory wear, and recognize education can help, we have not seen it be very effective with some issues over here. While we hope UK boaters will be much more responsive to your educational efforts than they seem to be over here, we have no evidence to support that hope.

gary
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Old 01 October 2013, 19:20   #39
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Health and safety record near misses and use a simple formula to stop accidents. So it probably works both ways?

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Old 01 October 2013, 19:44   #40
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This is an old video from an incident in southampton water - No kill cord and no lifejackets.

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