Safety advice after engine fumes cause death of boatman
SAFETY advice has been issued after a man was poisoned by fatal carbon monoxide fumes from the engine of his boat.
Christopher Reuben, 52, was found dead on his dawncraft called Nomadic on October 15 last year.
His vessel had been moored on the Macclesfield Canal near Springbank Farm, Springbank Lane, Adlington.
An inquest at Macclesfield town hall on March 7 concluded that Mr Reuben, from New Moston, Manchester, died accidentally.
Now Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Boat Safety Scheme, a public safety initiative run by the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency, are urging boat owners and dwellers to make vital checks to avoid similar tragedies from happening.
In the last 20 years, 30 boaters have been killed as a result of carbon monox- ide, according to the Boat Safety Scheme.
Graham Watts, manager of the Boat Safety Scheme said: “Over a million people are using boats safely each year, including thousands of people who live aboard on the inland waterways, but our reminder to crews and skippers is to treat the risks with due respect.
“Prevention is the key to staying safe. All engines and appliances need to be properly installed, well maintained and used according to the instructions.
“But carbon monoxide can occur or be made worse when ventilators are blocked, or fresh air is in short supply. Burning fuels need the right amount of oxygen to combust safely and it’s also incredibly important to keep exhaust fumes out of the boat’s interior.
“If there’s a smell of exhaust fumes aboard, there could be deadly carbon monoxide in the cabin and that’s why our belt and braces advice is to fit a carbon monoxide alarm approved as meeting BS EN 50291-2. These are type best suited for boats.
“And if an alarm go off, open the doors, hatches and windows and get ashore straightaway.
“The skipper should turn off appliances and engines as they get out. If anyone feels unwell, giddy, confused or sick they should get very urgent medical treatment.”
Nick Evans, head of prevention at Cheshire Fire Service, added: “I would encourage anyone living or holidaying on boats to ensure that they protect themselves by checking that their boat is fitted with both working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.”
For more safety information visit www.boatsafetyscheme.org/co
●● Macclesfield Canal near Springbank Lane, where the incident happened
●● Cheshire Chief Constable Simon Byrne and Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer at the launch of Operation Crossbow