Poison threat very real
By Capt. William W. Dials, AMS, SAMS, Bullhead City
The Arizona Republic
December 9, 2000

The articles last week regarding the problem of carbon monoxide poisoning by gasoline engines aboard houseboats on Lake Powell is one of the best first steps to the problem: public awareness.

I'm a marine surveyor and still surprised to find that during most of my vessel inspections, most boat owners are not aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. The problem isn't limited to Lake Powell.

Houseboats on Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu all have the same potential for problems. I should note that the problems with carbon monoxide poisoning aren't limited to the houseboats, as even the cabin cruisers and small boats can incur the effects of the carbon monoxide poisoning.

People can take several steps to avoid or minimize the problems. They can install a marine-type carbon monoxide detector in the cabin of their vessel and not swim around their boat with its engines operating.

Houseboat rental companies do have the marine-type carbon monoxide detectors installed but they need to make their customers more aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning with signs posted especially at the stern of the vessel.

Until a law someday comes about, the best anyone can hope to do at this time is to make people aware of the dangers of CO poisoning and your article was a welcomed and helpful first step.


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