Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Is your yacht safe? Marine surveyor sounds Carbon Monoxide alarm

by Sail-World Cruising on 12 Feb 2011
Carbon monoxide alert - Is it installed correctly? Is it actually working? Are there other elements that could make a dangerous situation? Ask your marine surveyor .. .
In the wake of Australia's Cyclone Yasi related death of a 23-year-old Queensland man by carbon monoxide poisoning, marine surveyor http://www.marinesurveyor.com/slivka!Paul_Slivka has drawn attention to the danger of death by asphyxiation on board both sailing and power boats.

The man, whose death was one of the only fatalities during Cyclone Yasi, had been sheltering from the cyclone in a shed where he was operating a generator. Slivka points out that there have been cases where fatalities have occurred, or almost occurred where people slept on boats in seemingly innocuous circumstances while breathing lethal quantities of carbon monoxide.

Speaking after the Yasi death, Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner David Melville said carbon monoxide was a colourless and odourless gas that could sneak up on people and in extreme circumstances cause death.

'Carbon monoxide is highly poisonous as it consumes oxygen out of the blood causing people to potentially drift off to sleep and never wake up. Initial symptoms which people should be aware of include headaches, vomiting and mild nausea,' Mr Melville said.

In one yacht-related case, a man and a woman in a powerboat anchored for the night, and turned on the air conditioning. While all systems seemed in order at the time, a 'Murphy's Law' of several separate circumstances, from some of the equipment on board being installed upside down, to the fact that the woman was coincidentally sleeping against the air intake grill, meant that carbon monoxide was being drawn into the yacht as the couple slept.

An equally bizarre - and fortuitous - circumstance saved the lives of the two. The tank supplying the generator ran out of fuel, and the carbon monoxide ceased to enter the cabin.

Even so, while the man, who woke first, has made a full recovery, the woman is possibly left with paralysis of parts of her body for life.

The case has been written up fully by another marine surveyor, J.G. Merritt, who points out that while in this case the boat was a power boat, sailing boats are not exempt, and the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in its early stages can resemble sea sickness..

He offers this advice, as lessons from the incident, to marine surveyors: Carbon monoxide is deadly and ignoring seemingly inconsequential and unrelated issues—a rattling generator, unreliable or incorrectly mounted CO detector—along with gaps in engine room bulkheads and poorly mounted air conditioner units can add up to kill. Surveyors would do well to look for issues that could create the potential for CO poisoning as well as informing owners of the proper way to use equipment that can produce CO. One more thing to note: surveyors need to remember that diesel-powered boats are not exempt from this hazard since gas generators may be installed.

To read the full horrifying story of the incident, related in the Boat U.S. Technical Exchange for Professionals magazine, http://www.sail-world.com/index_d.cfm?nid=80197!click_here.

As a yacht owner, request that your own marine surveyor takes any circumstances that could enable carbon monoxide poisoning into consideration when surveying a yacht for you.
........................

Letter from Reader:


Sender: rod waterhouse

Message: We were sailing my 6 month old Beneteau 473 back from Europe in 2004.
I was motor sailing at night between Panama and Galapagos Islands.

Kids were asleep in rear cabins and my wife Kerry asleep in forward cabin.

I was on watch and did a routine check downstairs.

I was horrified to find water over the floor and smoke in cabin..

I yelled and was able to get everyone awake outside and ok before trying to find the problem.

It turned out to be a sheared Muffler at the exhaust outlet.Basically I had been pumping Carbon Monoxide,and water into the boat and so lucky no one was killed.

A brand new Vetus muffler had broken and when questioning a dealer in Equador and stressing how dangerous that situation was he told me he had seen this before on same muffler.

Like car companies the big boat manufacturers should be recalling in such extreme cases.

So be aware that this is a serious and dangerous issue and anyone can be a victim.We were very fortunate to escape unhurt.

........................
Naiad/Oracle SupplierPredictWind.comProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Coast Guard Foundation receives donation from Ice Hockey Team
Coast Guard Foundation announced today that it received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it has received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club for $2,568, to benefit the Coast Guard Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund and Scholarship Fund.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan