Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Carbon monoxide suspected in British yacht deaths

by Sail-World Cruising Round-up on 3 Apr 2013
Lake Windermere - tragic deaths .. .
It is almost certain that two female crew of a yacht berthed at a jetty near Bowness in Lake Windermere in Britain were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. The skipper and partner of one of the crew also suffered breathing difficulties but he survived. The third crew member was a ten-year-old girl, the daughter of the dead woman.

The victims have been named as Kelly Webster, 36, and Lauren Thornton, 10, of Leyland, Lancashire. The survivor was Matthew Eteson, 39, also of Leyland. Eteson raised the alarm after he suffered breathing difficulties, and the two were airlifted from Windermere to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where they died.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as the 'silent killer' because it is undetectable to humans. (See http://www.sail-world.com/CruisingAus/Carbon-Monoxide---the-silent-killer/101625!Sail-World_story).

It is understood the theory of the deaths of the two women involves the use of a generator on the boat, which may have been faulty and put carbon monoxide into the boat instead of piping it outside.

A spokeswoman said: 'Police were alerted by the ambulance service after it was reported three people on a privately-owned boat were having serious breathing difficulties.

'On arrival, Mrs Webster and her daughter, Lauren, were being treated by paramedics and were airlifted to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where they tragically died.

'Police are not treating the deaths as suspicious, and it is suspected that the deaths were caused by some form of gas poisoning. Inquiries continue to be conducted by officers on behalf of the coroner.'

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is released when a fuel burns with insufficient oxygen - incomplete combustion.
Inhaling it reduces blood's ability to carry oxygen, leaving organs and cells starved of oxygen
Humans cannot smell or see the poisonous gas - which is why it is dubbed a silent killer

How can you tell the symptoms?
The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning may be non-specific and similar to those of viral cold and flu infections or food poisoning: headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough.

But, unlike flu infection, carbon monoxide poisoning doesn't cause a high temperature.

In children, the symptoms are similar to those of a stomach upset, with nausea and vomiting.

More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, hyperventilation, confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Seizures and loss of consciousness may also occur.

Some symptoms can occur a few days or even months after exposure to carbon monoxide. These may include confusion, loss of memory and problems with coordination.

T Clewring One Designupffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

WARNING against electronic flares
Britain's MCA warns sailors electronic flares will NOT substitute for pyrotechnic flares, US Coastguard does study. Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has warned all sailors and other boaters that electronic flares will NOT substitute for the traditional pyrotechnic flare, while US Coastguard has commissioned a study.
Posted on 10 Jun 2013
Vandals strike Marine Rescue vessel at start of peak sailing season
Sail-World condemns the mindless vandalism of Marine Rescue's new Wooli vessel over the weekend, $50,000 in damage Sail-World condemns the mindless vandalism of Marine Rescue's new Wooli vessel over the weekend, causing an estimated $50,000 in damage and reducing vital volunteer rescue resources on the Mid North Coast at the start of the peak boating season.
Posted on 26 Nov 2012
Sabbath laws and 'who will pay' hampers search for missing sailors
Tonga's 'sabbatical laws' and who will pay the fuel bill for the rescue have hampered the search for two sailors Tonga's 'sabbatical laws' against Sunday trading and a question about who will pay the fuel bill for the rescue have hampered the ongoing search for two sailors - one British/Australian and one Australian - whose yacht broke up last week on the Tongan Island of Late. (See Sail-World_story)
Posted on 18 Jun 2012
Non-Stop Weekend Workout for Marine Rescue Volunteers
Volunteer crews from Marine Rescue units were working non-stop in last weekend’s appalling conditions Volunteer crews from Marine Rescue units were working non-stop in last weekend’s appalling conditions. Their marine radios were alive with an unprecedented number of calls for help, reports of vessels adrift from moorings and grounded vessels
Posted on 7 Sep 2010