LOSS OF A LOVED ONE

"SKIP"

BOATERS: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS
"SILENT KILLER"


IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, CLEAR LABOR DAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 3, 2001 ON SHASTA LAKE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA .  MY BROTHER AND HIS WIFE ANCHORED IN A FAVORITE COVE WITH PLANS TO SPEND THE LONG WEEKEND ENJOYING THE LAKE AND SURROUNDING MOUNTAINS.  SOMETHING THEY HAD DONE HUNDREDS OF TIMES.  THEY HAD SPENT MANY YEARS BOATING ON SHASTA LAKE ,  NOVICES BY NO MEANS.  OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN BOATING TO SOME DEGREE OR OTHER FOR MANY YEARS.  MOST OF US HAVE TAKEN SAFE BOATING COURSES  TO STAY INFORMED OF SAFE BOATING PRACTICES.  HOWEVER, NONE OF US WERE AWARE OF THE DANGER THAT SKIP WOULD ENCOUNTER THAT MORNING WHICH SO QUICKLY TOOK HIS LIFE.

HE WENT FOR HIS MORNING SWIM, RETURNED TO THE SIDE OF THE BOAT, THEN WENT DIRECTLY TO THE BACK SWIM PLATFORM.  IN NO MORE TIME THAN IT TAKES TO TAKE ONE OR TWO BREATHS HE SUCCUMBED TO CARBON MONOXIDE INTOXICATION!!!!!!!!!!  REMEMBER-----THIS IS OUTSIDE, ON A LAKE , SUN SHINING, FRESH AIR..........

THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING AND CARBON MONOXIDE HAD ACCUMULATED AROUND AND UNDER THE SWIM PLATFORM, PROVING TO BE THE "SILENT KILLER" WE ALL HEAR ABOUT BUT REALLY CAN NOT RELATE TO, ESPECIALLY UNDER THESE CONDITIONS.

HIS DEATH WAS ORIGINALLY BELIEVED TO BE "HEART" RELATED.  HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE CORONER THAT DID THE AUTOPSY NOTICED  WHAT SHE WITNESSED DID NOT APPEAR TO "HEART", TOOK THE EXTRA STEP AND ORDERED ADDITIONAL TOXICOLOGY REPORTS BE DONE.  WHEN THE RESULTS CAME BACK IT SHOWED HIS BLOOD LEVELS TO BE 89% SATURATED WITH CARBON MONOXIDE!!!!!!!!!  THE RESULT OF  TAKING  A FEW BREATHS IN AN AREA WHERE  CARBON MONOXIDE UNKNOWINGLY LURKED.

BELOW ARE SEVERAL QUOTES  TAKEN FROM A NEWLY PRINTED BROCHURE
TO BE DISTRIBUTED DURING THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL SAFE BOATING CAMPAIGN:

"CARBON MONOXIDE CAN COLLECT WITHIN, ALONGSIDE OR BEHIND A BOAT IN MINUTES IN A VARIETY OF WAYS."

" NEVER ENTER AN ENCLOSED AREA UNDER A SWIM PLATFORM WHERE EXHAUST IS VENTED, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND !!!!  IT ONLY TAKES ONE OR TWO BREATHS OF THE AIR IN THE "DEATH CHAMBER" FOR IT TO BE FATAL........."

" NEVER SWIM IN THESE AREAS WHEN THE MOTOR OR GENERATOR IS OPERATING.  ON CALM DAYS, WAIT AT LEAST 15  MINUTES AFTER THE MOTOR OR GENERATOR HAS BEEN SHUT OFF BEFORE ENTERING THESE AREAS."

IT IS THE OPINION OF ALL THE PROFESSIONALS  I HAVE SPOKEN WITH THAT MANY "SWIM" DEATHS MAY HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF CARBON MONOXIDE INTOXICATION AND NOT WHAT MAY LOOK LIKE THE OBVIOUS...........

IT IS OUR GOAL TO DISSEMINATE THIS INFORMATION / WARNING TO THE BOATING PUBLIC SO ANOTHER TRAGEDY SUCH AS THIS IS NOT REPEATED...........