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(CT) Troop 82 installs propeller guards at Camp Sequassen

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Last month, propeller guards were installed on two motorboats at Camp Sequassen in New Hartford, by Fairfield’s BSA Troop 82 Scoutmaster Bryan LeClerc, Assistant Scoutmaster Richard Jacobs, and Camp Ranger Dave Boyajian.

Fatal propeller injuries In NY and CT youth camps were brought to the attention of LeClerc and the Scout Committee by Jacobs, who sought to bring about proactive change. The initiative began at Camp Sequassen, where Fairfield’s Troop 82 Scouts attend summer camp, but both men seek to take it farther than the initial donation from the troop.

Scout Salute to Troop 82 adult leaders for thinking safety!



States and the USCG have held hearings about propeller safety and need for guard laws since the 1950's? The arguments against have prevailed - need, cost ($100-500) , power loss (speed)... limit to instructional, recreation boats?

In 2016?, the USCG  reported 171 propeller incidents with 175 injuries and 24 deaths. 

NY Suffolk County Ryan's Law



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Well, what seems like unnecessary NOW becomes "why didn't we think of this before" .

It is always so unfortunate when an avoidable death or injury proves the necessity of safety equipment.  Bright yellow vests?  Rope and belts on window cleaners and roofers?  Anti kickback handles on chainsaws?  Safety goggle in shop? PFDs? Training?  Last week I had a good conversation with a Sea Scout leader friend who also teaches Coast Guard Auxiliary classes.  He can tell you stories.... 

I recently watched an old movie on TCM. "The Solitaire Man " .  It concerns a jewel thief and crooked Scotland Yard officer.  The final events in the movie occur aboard an early airliner (it's a Handley Page Type 42 !) on route from France to England.  The passenger compartment has light switches, windows that can be opened FULLY for ventilation (throw evidence out), cushy plush seats with NO SEAT BELTS, , NO ATTENDANT (only the two pilots),  parachutes for the passengers (just in case),  the pilot's compartment is unlocked (part of the conflict revolves around the passengers demanding to be taken back to France, and the pilots insisting "that's against regulations"),  AND . . a door to the outside that has a simple latch handle so one of the passengers can jump out ("Excuse me, but one of the passengers just committed suicide" says a passenger to the pilot). 

I think prop guards are certainly appropriate for training, beginners, Scouts.    While we're about it,  let's close the airplane's windows, triple latch the doors,  secure the pilot compartment, keep the lights on, and give the passenger compartment some attendants to help keep track of things. And peanuts. Give out peanuts.   

Edited by SSScout
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I'm still thinking about this one. I got my Water Skiing MB when I was 12.  I already knew how to ski when I got the badge, what I gained from that experience was better safety as a skier and boat driver. Pulling a skier through rough water or crowded lakes requires specific knowledge and skills to bring everybody back safe. Since many of the propeller accidents are the result of the boat running over the victim, I'm not sure the ends justifies the means. 

I did notice a new design for ski boats where the propeller is in front of drive putting more under the boat like an inboard drive. That would certainly be safer for ski safety.


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