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On 4 December 2019 two men returned to their 9m privately-owned motor-cruiser ‘Diversion’, moored on the river Ouse in York. The diesel-fuelled heater had been leaking exhaust fumes into the boat’s cabin while they were ashore, It was a cold evening and the cabin heater had been left running while the two casualties were eating and drinking with friends in the city centre. Both men were overcome by a high level of carbon monoxide (CO) gas and died shortly after entering the boat’s cabin. There were 4 potential sources of carbon monoxide on board: The heater, the boat’s engine, a portable, petrol generator and a meths-fuelled cooker. The MAIB has investigated various fatal accidents where the above were identified as the source of this deadly toxic gas. https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/safety-warning-about-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-after-the-loss-of-2-lives-on-the-motor-cruiser-diversion

Safety Issues: no carbon monoxide alarm was fitted, the cabin heater installation had not been professionally checked and no servicing had been carried out. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you.

Carbon monoxide can also be a danger when a car engine is running in a garage, or a heater is in a confined space. Sufficient ventilation is good.

The following Scottish Government links provide additional guidance :- 

Photo credit: https://tworivers.insurance

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