The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) recently published its report following an investigation into the fatal accident that occurred on board the motor cruiser Vasquez.
Last November, the owner of the 7.75m motor cruiser fell unconscious after being overcome by carbon monoxide (CO) that had been emitted from his boat’s inboard petrol engine. Although rescuers came to his aid and conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, it was not possible to save his life. The CO was found to have originated from the rubber bellows of the wet exhaust system of the engine, which was not only leaking exhaust fumes but also water.
Tragically, Vasquez’s 72-year-old owner, Ray Milton, died from CO poisoning because, without a CO detector/alarm being fitted to his boat, he was unaware that CO from his boat’s engine exhaust was entering the cockpit and cabin area.
The RYA has reaffirmed its commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of CO in the recreational boating community, and offers an extensive range of training courses and guidance on various aspects of boating to educate boat owners on how to stay safe when afloat.