Yesterday the MAIB (Marine Accidents Investigation Board) issued a safety notice to all boat owners following the tragic deaths of two boat owners and their dog on the Norfolk Broads in June.
Full details here:
The safety notice shows just how quickly levels of carbon monoxide can build up in the unventilated cabin of a boat. A timely reminder to us all to be careful on board. The following extract is taken from the report.
"The motor cruiser’s 5.7 litre petrol-driven inboard engine had been left running at 3000rpm
while it was moored alongside, probably to charge the batteries. A slight wind blowing from the
stern caused exhaust gas emitting from below the aft transom to enter the canopy covering
the aft deck (Figure 1) from where it spread down into the accommodation area forward.
During in-situ tests with the engine running the concentration of carbon monoxide from the
wet exhaust (Figure 2), reached high levels in the accommodation in less than 3 minutes. The
accommodation area was not ventilated and the couple and their dog were overcome. No carbon
monoxide alarms were fitted."
The cost of carbon monoxide alarms has come down considerably in recent years, quite why they are not mandatory for the Boat Safety Scheme is questionable given that they could quite easily save many lives.
Hopefully this safety advice will reach a few more boaters and encourage them to fit alarms to their vessels.