Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Boat Exhaust

Boats are a quintessential summer time, American pass time. No matter what income bracket you live in, chances are you have a boat of some sort. From kayaks and canoes, to motor boats, fishing boats, and even yachts, it is no surprise at all that people are fascinated with boats and love being on and near the water.

While the majority of people have nothing but great times out on the water with their friends and family and their favorite watercraft, there are times when things go wrong and people suffer terrible tragedies because of boats.

Even though traditional and typical boating accidents are bad enough, and many people experience serious injuries and even die because of them, there is another threat from boats that many people are not aware of: carbon monoxide poisoning.

Everyone knows that exhaust from a car, and even from a furnace can be dangerous, but for some reason people often do not consider that boat exhaust can be just as bad, and can be deadly. What is worse is that these types of terrible tragedies could be avoided if people just took a bit of time to properly educate themselves on proper boat maintenance, idling conditions, and handling. When these issues are not taken into careful consideration, a type of negligence may have been committed. You could be entitled to compensation for a variety of issues when this is the case and your best course of action is to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are adequately protected.

To illustrate just how dangerous boat exhaust can be, consider the case of an eight year old girl who died from carbon monoxide poisoning. This case took place in August of 2009. The young girl had been sitting on a platform for swimming on a boat, when she suddenly lost consciousness, falling into the water. The autopsy later showed that she was killed because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you think this is just a one time, freak type of occurrence, think again! Carbon monoxide poisoning around and in boats causes a large number of injuries and deaths each and every year. Since many of these accidents could have been and should have been avoided, litigation due to boat carbon monoxide poisoning is on the rise.

Here are some commonly known facts about boating and carbon monoxide poisoning:

-The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often resemble intoxication from alcohol or being seasick.
-You cannot see, taste, or smell carbon monoxide.
-Can build up in any location around or in your boat.
-Can affect you and your passengers whether you are anchored, moored, or underway.
-Can cause sickness in a matter of just seconds. If it is concentrated in high enough amounts, just a few breaths can be deadly.

Contrary to what some people believe, it is possible to take steps to prevent carbon monoxide issues on your boat. The United States Coast Guard has compiled these tips to help keep people safe, and to keep carbon monoxide from becoming a life threatening situation.

Operators should become educated on how and where carbon monoxide can build up around and in the vessel.

-Fresh air should be maintained and circulated through and around the boat consistently. Exhaust blower should be run any time the boat is under generator power.

-Be aware of where your generator exhaust outlet is located, as well as where your engine exhaust outlet is located and keep people away from these locations at all times.

-Do not sit, hang on the swim platform, teak surf, or hang on the back deck while the engine is in operation. It is never safe to teak surf anyway.

-Do not enter areas beneath swim platforms where outlets for exhaust are typically located unless there is proper ventilation.

-Even though carbon monoxide can be present on its own, it can also be present when exhaust fumes are smelled. Therefore, immediate action should be taken to dissipate the fumes when smelled.

-Cases of being sick at sea should be treated as potential carbon monoxide poisoning as a precaution. Move the ill person to an area with plenty of fresh air as quickly as possible, and seek prompt medical attention.

-Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in the boat and properly maintained. Any time the alarm sounds, it should be heeded. Be sure to replace the alarms according to the recommendations of the manufacturer.

-The checklists that are provided by the United States Coast Guard on their boat safety website should always be followed.

-Have a free bow to stern vessel safety check (VSC) completed regularly.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed because of carbon monoxide poisoning from boat exhaust, you should not hesitate to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals are highly skilled in the area of negligence and know the area of the law better than anyone. He or she will review your case, determine all of the parties who can and should be held accountable for the harm that has been done, and help you get ready your lawsuit.

In cases such as these, damages can be sought for a number of issues including past, present and future medical bills, loss of income, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, and emotional harm. In the event that you have lost a loved one due to carbon monoxide poisoning from boat exhaust you can file a wrongful death claim to seek damages for the above mentioned issues, as well as for loss of life, and funeral expenses.

Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you pay nothing upfront and nothing until the time your case settles. This can be a tremendous comfort during a time that is already stressful and difficult, and expensive enough.