Carbon monoxide likely cause of fishermen’s deaths

boatTwo young fishermen have been found dead on a trawler moored in Whitby Harbour, North Yorkshire. Early reports suggest the men suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, having left an oven ring burning throughout the night to provide heat.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas – often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’ – and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations.

Following a similar incident in April 2013, when  a mother and her 10 year old daughter died on Lake Windermere, MP Barry Sheerman, chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG), urged boaters to safeguard against the noxious gas by following Boat Safety Scheme advice.

This advice can be found in a booklet Safelincs produced in conjunction with Boat Safety Scheme and CoGDEM  (The Council of Gas Detection and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring).

Printed copies are available free of charge from Safelincs.

Everybody – home owners and caravan owners as well as boat owners – should have a carbon monoxide alarm, but these are not a substitute for the good installation, regular servicing and proper maintenance of fuel burning appliances and engines.

Lake Windermere CO Deaths

Early indications are that the deaths of a 36 year old woman and her 10 year old daughter in a boat on Lake Windermere over Easter will be attributed to carbon monoxide.

bss-front-coverCarbon monoxide build-up in boats is often overlooked, however, with the temperatures as cold as they have been over the last few weeks, many boat owners had to heat their cabins with heating appliances that have not been used for a long time and might not have been serviced for a while. In recent years, escaped flue gases from solid fuel stoves or generator exhaust gases have been responsible for most deaths of boaters from CO poisoning.

To raise awareness about carbon monoxide on boats we worked with the Boat Safety Scheme and CoGDEM  (The Council of Gas Detection and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring) to produce the booklet ‘Carbon Monoxide Safety on Boats’.

The booklet can be viewed online, however, if you would like free printed copies, please call 0800 612 6537