5 Jun 2018

Six people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning onboard a boat in Somerleyton. Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold
Photo: HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Southwold.

The Broads Authority has issued safety advice to boat users after six people were exposed to carbon monoxide levels “high enough to kill” aboard a Broads cruiser.

On Saturday, June 2, four of the six passengers were rushed to hospital after the incident in Somerleyton.

The scare has highlighted the way in which carbon monoxide can accumulate abroad boats and quickly pose a significant danger.

Steve Birtles, head of safety management said: “Thankfully in this case no lives were lost but it is a very timely reminder as the summer approaches and more of us take to the water.

“We are all familiar with the benefits of smoke detectors and we strongly recommend that carbon monoxide detectors are also fitted, tested and maintained to help save lives.

”You can buy a CO detector for marine use from most DIY stores, chandleries or even from the Broads Authority for just a few pounds.

He added: “Having a working carbon monoxide detector is just one measure that can help. People should also familiarise themselves with the sources of carbon monoxide such as petrol engine exhausts, solid fuel stoves and fuel burning appliances such as gas cookers.

“These must be well maintained and good ventilation is needed. The first symptoms of CO poisoning are headaches, stomach pain, feeling sick, dizzy, tired or disorientated and these can escalate very quickly.

“If you suspect that you are affected by CO it is important to take the following measures. Turn off engines and any other sources of CO, get people away from the boat into fresh air as quickly as possible and call the emergency services on 999 or on Channel 16 of your radio.

“If you are located at a Broads Authority 24 hour mooring the sign there will contain a postcode or grid reference which you can give to emergency services.”

Source: The Lowestoft Journal