Boaters: Protect Yourself from this Silent Killer!
Carbon monoxide can collect within,
alongside or behind a boat in
minutes in a variety of ways.

houseboat graphic
Avoid These Death Zones!

swim platform

What to do

Facts

Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas produced any time a carbon-based fuel, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal, or oil, burns. Sources on your boat include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges, and space and water heaters. Cold or poorly tuned engines produce more carbon monoxide than warm, properly tuned engines.

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless and mixes evenly with the air. It enters your bloodstream through the lungs and displaces the oxygen your body needs. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning - irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness - are often confused with seasickness or intoxication. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations or very short exposure to high concentrations can lead to death.

Each year, boaters are injured or killed by carbon monoxide. Most incidents occur on older boats and within the cabin or other enclosed areas. Exhaust leaks, the leading cause of death by carbon monoxide, can allow carbon monoxide to migrate throughout the boat and into enclosed areas. New areas of concern are the rear deck near the swim platform with the generator or engines running and teak surfing or dragging behind a slow moving boat. Regular maintenance and proper boat operation can reduce the risk of injury from carbon monoxide.

DO NOT Operate the vessel without doing the following:

Checklist (each trip)

DO NOT Operate the vessel without doing the following:

Checklist (at least annually)
LINKS TO MORE CO INFORMATION

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REMEMBER:

All carbon monoxide poisonings are preventable!

Produced under a grant from the Aquatic Resources (Wallop/Breaux) Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Information adapted from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and U.S. Department of Interior carbon monoxide brochure.
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