Carbon Monoxide – Dangers for Boaters
Carbon Monoxide is not just something to protect yourself from when you’re at home. This threat affects boaters every year, from speedboats to houseboats, it is a real threat with growing awareness:
From 1981 to April 2007, there have been 141 documented boating related CO deaths, and 651 non-fatal poisonings reported in the U.S.
Motorboats can release CO at very high concentrations. The CO can accumulate in and around the boat when idling, and can even be dragged behind the boat in what’s known as the “station wagon effect”. CO on houseboats can be released not only by the motor, but also by the onboard generator. Many deaths have occured on houseboats due to CO accumulating in cabins, and in areas around (and under) the boat where children often swim. Just take a look at this comprehensive listing from the Double Angel Foundation, cataloging boat-related CO poisonings in the U.S.
You can protect yourself when boating by following some CO Safe Boating tips. We have collected a list of articles from various boating organizations that describe how to keep yourself CO Safe when boating:
We have also collected news articles relating to incidences of CO poisoning when boating. Links to some articles appear below, and more can be seen by visiting our CO In The News page:
When you’re boating protect yourself, and your family, with a Pocket CO detector:
- Easy to use, single button operation.
- Very loud alarm, and flashing red light, to alert you of dangerous CO levels.
- Digital display allows for monitoring of CO levels on and around the boat.
- Weights less than 1 ounce. Take it anywhere!
- Learn more, or order now.
We are a volunteer first aid squad and like to keep the Pocket CO clipped to our blood pressure case. This way, every time that we enter a home or business to treat a patient, we run a quick test to assure that we are safe.
Anthony J. Pellegrino, Captain, Shrewsbury First Aid Squad, NewJersey
Last Wednesday I took off from Langley BC to Powell River and back to Langley in a Piper Cherokee for a dual cross country ride; this is a bit over two hours flight, and most of the way is along the Pacific coast. After I started the engine we heard some sort of beep in the cabin, so we looked at the instruments, checked cell phones, our headsets, everything seemed OK, plus none of us heard that kind of beep in a Cherokee before. It took us about a half hour of flight to figure out that the Pocket CO was beeping (was the first time using it, completely forgot I had it until my flight instructor asked me to check that “thing” hanging around my neck). When I read it, it showed 63ppm; so we closed the heaters, and opened all vents, until the reading dropped to 3ppm, that is a more “normal” figure. By now we were well above Vancouver, but because of the low reading we decided to keep going and not go back to Langley. Apparently the CO peaked to 90ppm (if I read the 12hrs log correctly), that was probably during our climb when we used full power. My flight instructor wanted to ground the airplane, but the end result was the school installed a new chemical indicator! The mechanics got a bit touchy, because the airplane just got back from a 100hrs check, they said there was no way we had any CO in the cabin, but I’ve seen the numbers, and I don’t really care what they say: I fly the airplane.
I knew this little device could save my skin one day, I didn’t expect it so soon! I had a few more flights since then, with different airplanes, all show a very low CO number.
Ion, Canada, May 2010
Just wanted to let you know that I am one of your success stories. I purchased a Pocket CO monitor for use in my research. It came in handy one day when a new CO alarm in my home started to go off. Using the Pocket CO, I was able to determine that the CO alarm wasn’t faulty–we had CO in the house! We traced the source to a vent pipe that was never married to our hot water heater. I’m a big fan of your product which is inexpensive, portable, and very easy to use. It’s a great addition to home CO alarms, and I always take mine with me when I travel. Thanks!!
Eric L., Emergency Physician/Medical Toxicologist, Colorado, January 2010
I just bought the Pocket CO detector a few weeks ago for my airplane. While flying I noticed it get up to over 100 ppm. So, today I closely inspected the exhaust manifolds and found a hidden hole in the exhaust stack. I never would have known about it if I hadn’t bought Pocket CO! Thanks!
Doug M., Southern California, December 2009