Boats & Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:46 by admin
Amid growing evidence that Carbon Monoxide-related illnesses, injuries, and fatalities on the water may be far greater than reported, the United States Coast Guard is asking recreational boaters to take special care.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and highly toxic gas produced by boat engines, generators, and stoves. Some boaters are aware that CO can accumulate inside engine compartments, but few understand that the gas can pool in deadly concentrations outside the boat as well around engine and generator exhaust outlets, under and around swim platforms, and even in an open cabin when conditions are right.

"We've had some tragic accidents involving Carbon Monoxide," says Captain Scott Evans, Chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Boating Safety. " The reason they are tragic is that virtually all injuries and fatalities involving CO are preventable through simple awareness on the part of the boat owner and operator."

Many in the boating safety community believe that Carbon Monoxide-related injuries and fatalities may go underreported because they are attributed to other causes such as seasickness or intoxication. There is growing concern that as many as 15 percent of the deaths attributed to drowning in fact occurred when a swimmer was already unconscious from exposure to Carbon Monoxide.

"Boaters can greatly reduce the risk to themselves and their passengers by educating themselves about CO," continues Captain Evans. "They should know where exhaust outlets for the engines and generator are on their boat, and keep everyone clear. They should understand how and where CO can accumulate
for example, when slow speeds and a following wind create a backdraft that draws CO into the cabin. They should forbid high-risk behaviors like teak surfing, and treat symptoms like headache, dizziness, and nausea as possible CO poisonings until another cause is pinpointed."

If you have been injured because of carbon monoxide poisoning while on a boat, it may be important to contact an attorney to help you protect your valuable legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Boats, Personal Watercraft & Jet Skis
  2. Balance Problems: Overview
  3. Depression: Overview
  4. Fatigue: Overview
  5. Headaches
  6. Nausea: Overview
  7. Peripheral Neuropathy: Overview
  8. Poisoning
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