(NC)—An invisible, silent and deadly danger
to boaters, carbon monoxide (CO) is being linked to an increasing number of boating
deaths. CO is a colourless, odourless gas produced during the incomplete combustion
of fossil fuels. It cuts off the oxygen supply to the body and can cause death in
Avoid CO poisoning:
• Don't idle your engine, heat
your cabin, or cook, except in well-ventilated areas.
• Be especially careful in
areas that have been modified, such as cabin extensions and areas fitted with
• Use a carbon monoxide
detector designed for a boat and check the detector's batteries before every
• Boat engines left idling in
poorly ventilated areas create dangerous concentrations of CO: a tail wind can
carry CO back into the boat.
• CO can build up in boats
when: two boats are tied to one another; an improper load distribution causes the
bow to ride high; or the boat is stationary and the portable generator is
Swimmers take note – CO isn't
just a risk to boaters. You can be overcome by the gas in minutes and drown. Areas
of risk are underneath swim grids and between the pontoons of houseboats. More
information on CO poisoning is available at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca or call toll-free 1-800-267-6687.
- News Canada