Boating Safety Is For Life

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Boating Safety News

This is a repost of two posts  I made on Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  I think it needs to be said again:

New Boatbuilders on Carbon Monoxide.   It's that time of the year when people start thinking about getting out on the boat, enjoying the sunshine and the water. Soon it will be warming up and the hot summer days will be upon us.  This also means air conditioning, and running generators.  Running the generator produces carbon monoxide.  This is unfortunately something few people think about when out boating, especially on a nice sunny day, or when you are out waterskiing or wakeboarding.

There are a few deaths each year from carbon monoxide and houseboats, particularly rental houseboats, which seem to get all the press when this happens, but it can happen on any boat powered by an internal combustion engine.

A quick list of things to be aware of.

Gasoline engines produce lots of Carbon Monoxide, especially if they are older or out of tune. Keep them tuned up and make sure they are getting adequate air to run correctly.

Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless so you don't know when it is present. Install a detector with an alarm.

CO poisoning can happen on open boats, sailboats and enclosed cabin boats; in plain words on almost any boat with an internal combustion engine or other device that creates CO.

Carbon monoxide can cause death or severe brain damage.

Some things to do.

Do shut off the engine when you aren't actually using it.  This reduces fuel consumption and carbon monoxide.

Do buy a marine carbon monoxide detector and install it on your boat.

Read the warning labels on your boat or in the owners manual.

Become familiar with the symptoms.  They are very much like sea sickness, so be cautious.

Ventilate the interior of your boat well, especially when running downwind or when running air conditioning.


Don't teak surf (holding onto the swim platform while being towed behind the boat) this can be deadly.  Also towing skiers or wakeboards on a short towline has resulted in CO poisoning.

Don't run the engine while picking up skiers or wakeboarders. There is not only a danger of CO poisoning there is the danger of them being hit by the prop.

Don't sit or lie down on the swim platform while the engine is running.

Some boats have a sunbathing area on top of the engine hatch. Don't use it when the engine is running.

Don't dive or swim under the swim platform on large boats or houseboats.  Exhaust gets trapped there and the amount of CO is deadly.

Don't run your Air Condtioning at night while sleeping, or heaters that use up oxygen.  If it is so cold or hot that you have to heat or cool make sure the boat is well venitlated and you have a CO alarm.  (this is a big cause of CO deaths on boats.)

This is just the beginning.  Do some research on the internet. Google carbon monoxide and you will get thousands of hits.  Narrow it by adding the keyword boat.  Here are some links on CO

New Boat Builders on Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Kills  
USCG On Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide Warning Pamphlet - NMMA USCG & ABYC

Houseboat-Associated Carbon Monoxide Poisonings on Lake Powell --- Arizona and Utah, 2000 : Center for Disease Control
Carbon Monoxide Pamphlet Boating Sidekicks
Carbon Monoxide Alert David Pascoe-Yacht

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Carbon Monoxide


Carbon monoxide suspected in deaths
Put safety first in finding ways to stay warm, officials plead

Casualties from Tuesday's massive ice storm continued to climb across Kentucky yesterday, as six people died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning -- including three found dead at their western Louisville home with a generator running in the garage.
Last night, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Jack Arnold identified the victims as William Matthews, 62, his wife, Beverly Matthews, 54, and their adopted daughter, Mona Stephens, 46.

Be careful. Carbon Monoxide is not just a threat on boats. Anywhere that exhaust fumes can be confined, there is a threat of CO accumulating and killing the occupants.

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