Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of death by poisoning. Every year, people die needlessly because they didn't realize the danger. This colorless, odorless gas is given off by the normal operation of any fuel-burning appliance or engine aboard a boat. It may escape from exhaust systems into the cabin area, where the concentrations of the gas can quickly become high enough to kill you.

Carbon Monoxide

Effects of Exposure

Prevention

Treatment

Canada has no regulations, but the ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council) standard requires CO detectors aboard boats with enclosed living space. The RV (motorhomes) industry has required CO detectors installed since 1993. Unfortunately, consumer testing has shown that detector technology doesn't work well on boats. One test in homes showed a one third failure rate. Some older units have had recalls to replace detector units - check with manufacturers! According to Powerboat Reports magazine (Sep/99), Fireboy/Xintex is one of only two makers of CO detectors made specifically for boats. They report that Figero USA has a new sensor ready for testing. Use a CO detector in your boat, but do NOT depend on it. Until we have better detectors, prevention is imperative.

This page is courtesy of Pat's Boating in Canada, and honors the memory of Eric William Currier who died October 9, 1999, of carbon monoxide poisoning with his boat generator running and ports closed. Boaters at Village Quay Marina in Ivy Lea, Ontario will miss him.

 

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