CED Technologies Inc. has been contracted to evaluate propeller strike boating accidents from a human factors perspective. The U.S. Coast Guard has compiled a database history of recreational boating accident reports that state the end result but do not necessarily focus on the contributory factors. CED will conduct investigative research to help the Coast Guard understand the Human Factor causes of accidents and apply CED’s experience to analyze the potential for propeller guards to mitigate such boating accidents.
The effectiveness of propeller guards has been debated for decades. Like many ideas that sound good, propeller guards ultimately failed to gain favor and as a result the Coast Guard has recently concluded there are still too many design and operational questions to create a federal regulation. Thus, the Coast Guard has outsourced an evaluation to create propeller guard testing protocol and research and development to bring clarity to the human factors associated with propeller strike accidents.
Human Factors relating to products and accidents are a routine component of CED’s investigative technologies. This study will include research and development into why, how, and where propeller strikes occur, contribution of design of the propeller, and possible effect of propeller guards to mitigate accidents.CED has been contracted to do the Coast Guard R&D because of CED’s experience with accident investigation and analysis, human factors expertise, and neutrality with regards to the various stakeholders – the boating public, original equipment manufacturers, and state boating officials.
CED staff project manager Bill Daley (mechanical engineer) has teamed with senior analyst Pat Hudson (naval architect) to set the course for the CED’s efforts in the R&D project that will ultimately develop a standard for evaluating propeller guards, both already on the market and future designs, as being safe and effective for recreational boats.