Plastic bag in the propeller

The first thing to say is that you shouldn’t dump plastic over the side

It doesn’t degrade, and animals think it is food. Plastic can tangle their guts up and has no nutritional value so sea bird chicks can starve for example.

Plastic can cause people problems too. If your prop is tangled in plastic and you can’t start the engine in an emergency you need to act quickly, and if the engine starts labouring because plastic is tangled around the shaft you should throw the gearbox into neutral immediately – you could throw a rod and this means you will be in deep trouble as a blown engine can’t be fixed at sea.

  1. Where possible get into an anchorage and out of the way of other vessels. Ideally, set anchor if shallow enough water. This might not be possible.
  2. Get the boat hook down to the prop and try to remove the plastic without anyone going in the water.
  3. Put the tender in the water. Tie it alongside. Put two people in the tender. One should reach down to the prop with a boat hook and the other should hold them as they reach under the water.
  4. ONLY IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, have your best swimmer ready to go in the water from the tender. Ensure they have a rope tied around their waist and two people holding that rope at all times. Let them dive to the prop and untangle