En­gine CO fumes alert

Canal Boat - - News -

CAR­BON MONOX­IDE FUMES can kill in min­utes. This is the stark warn­ing from par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and the Boat Safety Scheme fol­low­ing the deaths from CO poi­son­ing of two peo­ple on their moored mo­tor cruiser in Nor­folk ( CB, Sept). The Marine Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch found that ex­haust fumes from run­ning the en­gine could blow back in and fill their boat’s cabin space within three min­utes.

Jonathan Shaw, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Pol­icy Con­nect and a former Min­is­ter for Wa­ter­ways, said: “If you can smell ex­haust fumes in the cabin there is an is­sue that needs your at­ten­tion. If those are petrol en­gine fumes, act im­me­di­ately. At low con­cen­tra­tions over longer pe­ri­ods it can cause long-term health and mem­ory prob­lems. Higher amounts of car­bon monox­ide can kill in just a few min­utes.” Mean­while, the BSS rec­om­mends boaters to: Avoid prob­lems by stay­ing alert to en­gine fumes – keep them out of the cabin.

Run por­ta­ble gen­er­a­tors ashore away from the boat, never aboard. Don’t run a propul­sion en­gine when moored if the ex­haust fumes are blow­ing back in­side, even if your bat­ter­ies are des­per­ate for a charge. Wait un­til the wind changes or move to a dif­fer­ent mooring. Be a good neigh­bour and don’t run petrol en­gines where ex­haust fumes could en­ter a nearby boat cabin. If you’re smelling and breath­ing in ex­haust fumes, stop the en­gine and get off the boat. Know the symp­toms of CO poi­son­ing, and if any­one is in­di­cat­ing they are suf­fer­ing, get them med­i­cal help. If the symp­toms are se­vere, call the emer­gency ser­vices. As a belt & braces de­fence, in­stall a cer­ti­fied CO alarm ( BS EN 50291-2), test it rou­tinely and never re­move the bat­ter­ies Gra­ham Watts of the Boat Safety Scheme said: “Our records point to the fact that those new to boating may not be so aware of the CO risk as ex­pe­ri­enced boaters. If you know some­one new to boating, why not have a chat about CO and point to the good safety ad­vice on our BSS web­site at boat­safe­tyscheme.org/co

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