WTVT-TV reported last week that a Florida worker suffered severe injuries after he fell from a barge in Port Canaveral in the middle of a channel, striking a propeller.
The station reported that the accident occurred on November 10, at around 10 p.m., when a man working on a dredge barge fell overboard and struck a propeller. He reportedly suffered a “bi-lateral double amputation below the knee.”
The man had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. WTVT reported that crews work at night dredging the port’s channels when cruise ship and commercial activity is minimal, to avoid these types of accidents. Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the incident.
No further details were released—officials did not respond to questions about whether the fall could have been prevented.
Boat Propellers Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
As we noted in this August blog post, boat propellers can cause catastrophic injuries when people encounter them. As far as recreational boats are concerned, a typical three-blade boat propeller runs at 3,200 rpm and can inflict 160 impacts (or strikes) in one second. If you are working around a commercial vessel with larger, faster blades, the impact can be even greater.
Injuries caused by boat propellers can include amputations and severe wounds. These injuries can leave someone disfigured or missing limbs. Many propeller accidents are avoidable and are caused by negligence on the part of boat operators and/or owners. Victims often file lawsuits following propeller accidents, so that they can obtain damages that can help pay for rehabilitation and therapy.
In the video above, maritime attorney Carolyn Latti discusses what you should do following an accident on the water.