Tragic youth sailing accident

Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
Very sad - but to be accurate,  this was a powerboat accident,  NOT a sailing accident.   Not that it matters to the family - my deepest condolences to the young sailors loved ones.

He might have only sheeted in the main once,  but he was one of us.


Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
Eastern NC
This is a nightmare. My deepest sympathy goes out to that boy's family

Here is the main info from the above-linked article........................

UPDATED at 5 p.m.: A 10-year-old boy was killed after he was struck by a boat propeller during a sailing lesson in the vicinity of Centerport Yacht Club on Tuesday afternoon, police say.

According to authorities, the boy was among three students participating in a sailing lesson when the boat was intentionally capsized as part of the lesson around 2:30 p.m. All boys were wearing life jackets during the exercise.

Two of the students remained on the boat while the 10-year-old boy was in the water during the exercise, police say. The instructor, who was in a Zodiac boat, which is an inflatable boat, pulled the boy from the water into his boat. The boy then fell out of the Zodiac and was struck by the boat’s propeller, police say.

The instructor pulled the boy back into the boat and performed CPR. The harbormaster also responded to the scene and gave the boy CPR.

....   .............    ...........

What a horrible, horrible, accident.

FB- Doug



this is a tragic accident -- but at face value, sounds like it should have been avoidable.

The kid was struck by the instructor's boat prop.

Was there a prop guard on it?
Agreed, but prop guard or not, the FIRST thing one should do regardless of how fast they're going/direction, whatever, is to kill the motor if someone falls over/they are approaching someone in the water. Sadly, I think poor training on the instructors part is to blame here. Will be interesting (not in a good way) to see what happens in court...

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Super Anarchist
99.9 percent of JA instructor ribs do not have prop guards. Horrible freak accident.  Agree more training is needed. Boats should never be in gear or running until asses are in seats. How much of that is covered in initial certification or powerboat license? Your lucky if they teach red, right, returning. Prayers to the family and also the instructor who is probably a fine young person and will live with this forever. This is a premier club and great people and it could happen anywhere. Very sad. 
I'll up that to 99.9999999999%.  This is extremely sad and I won't place blame between the trainers and the operator, but that engine should've been off. 



New member
This is a terrible tragedy, obviously avoidable. 

The issue that may come to light in all this is that most sailing instructors AT ALL LEVELS are not licensed by the Coast Guard.  If you are in a commercial arrangement and carrying passengers, you must have a USCG license. Why does the launch driver need one but not the sailing instructor??  Both are carrying passengers and are getting paid to do the work. 

I feel that all YC's are negligent on this topic. A powerboat license enables you to operate the craft but not to carry passengers for hire. As soon as you put kids in the boat with the instructor, you have passengers for hire. 

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Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
Our club's junior-program chase boats have prop guards,  and when I was tasked with buying anew outboard for the camp I worked at ( in 1984 ! ) I bought one with a water Jet-drive so as to NOT have a propeller.  Yeah,   THAT one was a lot of fun - learning that "Neutral" wasn't really neutral...but we have had several bad prop strikes over the years out here - to the point that they have discussed requiring cages on ALL props !   ( so far this hasn't passed )

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In my experience, the US Sailing certification courses to teach sailing are a complete joke, at least the level 1 course program was. 1/2 of the class was clearly incompetent at driving a motor boat and the instructor just seemed to shrug it off. Prop guards should be a mandatory item on any boat that might be used in a junior sailing program, you'd think it'd be a no brainer.

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This is a massive tragedy and my condolences and support to all involved and impacted. This is every parent's, instructor's, program operator's, and sailor's worst nightmare. A child Is dead and his/her family forever devastated. God bless them all; instructor on the boat included. 



This is so horrific. I frostbite from this club during the winters and have done a lot of sailing there during the summer as well. The membership there is enthusiastic about sailing and they run wonderful programs. 

From what I've read, this sounds like a split second thing... we have all been on a RIB or a center console when someone hit the throttle and we felt that momentary need to grab onto something. I'm so sorry for this family, this instructor, the other kids and the rest of the members. I don't know how anyone recovers from this, but I wish that they all find peace and healing in time. I'm so, so sorry for everyone involved. Love you all at CYC!! 

RIP and fair winds to the young sailor who crossed the bar far too soon

Prayers for all involved.  I dont cast any judgments on the coach... when I was an 18 year old sailing coach, myself and everyone I knew did all sorts of knucklehead things w/ powerboats... but for the grace of god something like this never happened.


Irish River

Super Anarchist
Wow sad news. It has been 20+ years since I coached juniors, and I was not a safe coach looking back at it.  I was not properly trained.  

There was several near miss at next club over.  But I was lucky.  

I really feel for all those involved.  


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