Carbon monoxide poisoning a concern on boats

Carbon monoxide poisoning a concern on boats

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - You can't taste it, smell it or see it, but carbon monoxide is deadly.

Many worry about carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes and cars, but it can also happen in boats too.

"On a hot day like today, you have your air conditioner running so the chances now are greater than if your boat's open," said Tim Selz, Service Manager at Brenner 75.

And just one boat engine can produce the same amount of carbon monoxide as 180 cars.

It's more common on boats with cabins, but not in Raven Littlewhite's case. A 16-year-old girl who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while out on a ski boat with friends this May.

Not only should you be careful on the water, but even before your boat leaves the dock.

Canopies and equipment should never block the engine or generator's exhaust, causing a leak in the boat. And just like inside your home, you should always make sure to have a carbon monoxide detector installed.

"I probably need to upgrade my detector, put new batteries in it like the smoke detector. It can be deadly," said Greg Savage, a boat owner.

Don't always assume nausea is sea sickness. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, loss of muscle control and blurred vision.

If you experience any of these symptoms on the water, call 911 immediately.

"You've got your cell phone to call 911, or the coast guard monitor is channel 16. But I would say get out into fresh air where you can exhaust your lungs and breathe as much fresh air as you can and get out of that environment," said Selz.

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