The horrific death of the 12-year-old boy who came into contact with a boat propeller was preventable [“Sailing lesson turns tragic,” News, July 19].

Based on news accounts and photos, these conclusions can be reached: A child should not be allowed to sit on the gunwale of such an inflatable boat. A boat’s captain must proceed carefully and slowly so no one can fall out. A propeller guard should be installed; that $325 item can offer protection in areas where people are moved in small boats.

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Mark Stevens, East Northport

Editor’s note: The writer is a licensed captain who runs a 20-foot charter fishing boat.