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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Boating Season Begins - Beware Of These Killers


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also known as the “silent killer”. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is very toxic even in small quantities. It is produced when a carbon fuel, such as gasoline or diesel is burned. Carbon monoxide disperses freely through the air and will travel readily throughout a boat. It is discharged as engine, generator, or appliance exhaust that may re-enter your boat through any opening.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are throbbing temples, inattentiveness or lack of concentration, inability to think coherently, ringing in the ears, tightness across the chest, headache, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, collapse, and convulsions. Protect yourself from the silent killer and download the carbon monoxide brochure.

Cold Water Immersion

Do not let the temperature outside fool you. Cold water immersion and hypothermia can occur in water as cool as 70 degrees at any time of the year, even on a warm and sunny day. Arizona winters are mild, and recreational boating is popular year-round, but a sudden and unexpected immersion into cold water can cause hypothermia and even lead to a life-threatening situation.

Entering extremely cold water causes an immediate gasp reflex that can fill the lungs with water. After falling overboard or entering the water, it is important to be wearing your life jacket (PFD). A life jacket keeps your head above water and your body on the surface.

Stay calm and move slowly. Don’t try to take off clothing in the water (a common misconception is that heavy clothing or waders weigh down your body when in fact they can trap air and help keep your body afloat).

If your boat has capsized stay with it. More than likely, it will not sink and it can be used as a platform to maneuver, so stay on top of it as much as possible, getting yourself out of the water and maintaining stability.


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