Maritime News & Info

Safe Boating Week Spotlight: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We’re finishing out Safe Boating Week today with a spotlight on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Though we might traditionally associate this health hazard with the colder months – most carbon monoxide poisonings come from furnaces, stoves and other heat sources without proper ventilation – it can be a real threat to boaters year-round.

Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide makes victims sick before they even realize something is amiss. It makes victims nauseous, something they could mistake for seasickness. Other symptoms include irritated eyes, headache and dizziness. Many times, folks don’t realize they’re being poisoned until after they have passed out from inhaling the gas. If they’re not found in time, victims can die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

So how exactly does carbon monoxide fit into a breezy day on the water? It can gather along the side or behind a vessel in mere minutes. When exhaust vents are blocked, the gas can accumulate inside the cabin.

Exhaust from other vessels can also contain carbon monoxide. When docked or anchored alongside your boat, your neighbor can emit the poisonous gas your direction. Slow speeds or idling can also cause carbon monoxide to build up to unsafe levels. Even water skiers aren’t immune to the effects of carbon monoxide – if they’re within 20 feet of a moving watercraft, they can be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Keep alert to the possibility of carbon monoxide accumulation possibilities. Leave plenty of room between your vessel and other boats, and install carbon monoxide detectors in all cabins. It’s the only way to stay safe!

Maritime Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe – GET HELP

If you’ve been injured, an experienced maritime and Jones Act attorney can help you recover the damages related to your injury. Richard Serpe gained a Masters Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.