Coast Guard Proposes Prop Injury Avoidance Measures

Under a proposed rulemaking* by the U.S. Coast Guard, owners of non-planing recreational houseboats with propeller-driven propulsion located aft of the transom would be required either to equip the vessel with a propeller guard, or employ three combined measures: a swim ladder interlock, an aft visibility device, and an emergency ignition cut-off switch.

The proposed rulemaking is available on the Internet, at or, or call (800) 368-5647. No public meeting on the proposal is being planned at this time.

The change is in response to the National Boating Safety Advisory Council recommendations. While accident data does not show a high number of reported annual fatalities due to propeller strikes, previous public comment indicating great public interest on this issue and consultation with NBSAC motivated the Coast Guard to propose the rulemaking.

To comment on the proposal, refer to the docket number for this rulemaking [USCG-2001-10163], indicate the specific section to which each comment applies, give the reason for each comment, and include your name and address. Comments may be submitted on or before March 11, 2002, by mail, hand delivery, fax or electronic means, to:

Docket Management Facility [USCG-2001-10163]
U.S. Dept. of Transportation 400 Seventh Street SW, Room PL-401
Washington, DC 20590-0001
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, M-F, except Federal holidays
Telephone: (202) 366-9329
FAX: (202) 493-2251
Internet Docket Management System site:

A proposed USCG propeller injury prevention rule for manufacturers of rental boats has been withdrawn.

*Federal Register, Vol. 66, No.237, December 10, 2001