Silent Killer Not Just a Winter Worry

By KBJR News 1

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 9:57 AM CDT

Whether you're fishing, swimming or water skiing, boating is a popular summer activity in the land of ten thousand lakes.

Although safety is heavily stressed this time of year, many don't know that there is a silent killer lurking near their water craft.

As Todd Carlson revs up plans for a weekend boating trip, there's something he says he's constantly aware of.

"People could be in the cabin and the exhaust from the engine could go into the cabin space and people could get carbon monoxide poisoning."

The Duluth Sail and Power Squadron often warns boaters of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it says it's not just engine exhaust that can turn a fun day on the lake into a trip to the hospital.

"Other boats can also send carbon monoxide towards your boat or towards where you're swimming. On-board generators, or things of that nature, even when the engine isn't necessarily running could cause carbon monoxide poisoning," says Carlson

With children often out on the water with him, Tom Linderholm says he takes every precaution necessary.

"Ventilate. Always make sure you have your hatches open, vents, screens, something open so that there is always air running through the vessel."

Currently there are no mandates in place that could curb carbon monoxide poisoning out on the water, but the Power Squadron recommends the installation of CO detectors.

"It is a good idea that if you have a cabin space, to put a carbon monoxide detector in it. And obviously, maintain it and treat as you would a smoke detector."

The key signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are very similar to those of motion sickness, and mistaking one for the other could be a deadly mistake, says Carlson.

Courtney Godfrey
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