CO alarms to be mandatory on the inland waterways
From next year all boaters using inland waterways in England and Scotland will have to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.
The new regulation from the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) will affect cruisers using BWML marinas, all Canal & River Trust waterways, The Broads, Bristol Harbour, Scottish Canals, the rivers Medway, Thames, Blackwater, Chelmer, Cam, Dee, Wey, and other waterways run by navigation authorities that apply BSS regulations.
The BSS is currently consulting on the measure before it comes into effect from January 2019.
Individual navigation authorities will implement the new requirement, with officers carrying out spot checks of boats. From 1 April 2019, mandatory CO alarms will become part of the BSS examination of vessels, which takes place every four years and is mandatory for those who wish to cruise BSS regulated waterways.
In the last 20 years, 30 boaters have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning on board, according to BSS figures.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has long campaigned for CO alarms on recreational boats, and last year recommended the BSS make them mandatory.
This followed an investigation after Alan Frost and Tina Wilkins died of CO poisoning aboard their Doral 250SE sports motor cruiser, Love for Lydia, at Wroxham Broad in June 2016.
The BSS consultation, which ends 9 November 2018, can be found at www. boatsafetyscheme.org/ alarmconsulation2018.
30 boaters have died from CO poisoning in the last two decades