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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Boats Causes Injuries & Death

Our Michigan boating accident lawyers handle cases involving all types of watercraft and sport boat accidents.  One type of claim relating to boating involves accident carbon monoxide poisoning.  These claims can result in significant injury, and even death, to unsuspecting boaters and boat passengers.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is not something many people worry about when on a boat. However, boaters are at risk of CO poisoning if proper precautions are not taken. Carbon monoxide on a boat usually comes from gasoline-powered engines and onboard generators. On larger boats CO builds up above the water near the water platform, and CO that builds up in the air space beneath the stern deck or on and near the swim deck can kill someone in seconds.

In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traveling at slow or idling in the water can cause CO to build up in a boat’s cabin, cockpit, bridge, and aft deck, or in an open area. Wind from the aft section of the boat can increase this buildup of carbon monoxide.

Many boaters do not even realize how easily CO can build up in their boat. CO is a colorless and odorless gas which makes it quite hard to detect, especially if you are not looking for it. Listed below are some symptoms of CO poisoning provided by the CDC:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

WARNING: Also according to the CDC, high levels of CO inhalation can cause death, and a person who is sleeping or intoxicated is at risk of death from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms!

To prevent CO poisoning, the CDC has also provided a list of preventative measures all boaters should adhere to. These safety tips include:

  • Install and maintain a working CO detector inside the boat to alert people when dangerous levels of CO have built up inside the boat cabin.
  • Properly install and maintain all fuel-burning engines and appliances.
  • Educate all passengers about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning.
  • Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust.
  • Watch children closely when they play on rear swim decks or water platforms.
  • Never block exhaust outlets.
  • Dock, beach, or anchor at least 20 feet away from the nearest boat that is running a generator or engine.

If you or a loved one has suffered from injures from carbon monoxide poisoning on a boat, you should contact our injury attorneys immediately to learn your rights. The experienced carbon monoxide poisoning lawyers of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. possess significant expertise in carbon monoxide cases and represent clients under our NO FEE promise.

Call our office today at (800) 606-1717 for a free consultation with one of our top-rated boat injury lawyers or fill in the contact form on this page and an experienced lawyer will contact you shortly.

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