Preventing Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning on Boats

Wakeboarding Boat idling near dock

Safety Tips While Operating a Boat or Near Another vessel

Typically occurring at the rear of and in the water immediately behind rear-exhaust vented ski or family recreational boats, CO is a colorless and odorless gas that can kill someone who inhales it in just a matter of seconds.

If you are aware of anyone who owns a pleasure boat with rear exhaust vents, please share with them the often unknown danger they are putting themselves, their friends or family in by occupying the rear swim platform or waters immediately behind the boat.

Keep yourself and others safe by keeping in mind the following CDC recommendations:

  • Properly install and maintain all fuel-burning engines/appliances
  • Educate passengers about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, including:
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Chest Pain
    • Death (Following high levels of inhalation)
    • Drowning
  • Do not allow passengers to occupy the swim platform or water within 20 feet behind the boat while the engine is on
  • Refrain from blocking exhaust outlets, which can cause CO build-up in the cabin and cockpit areas
  • Dock or anchor at least 20 feet away from the nearest boat to avoid its exhaust and CO

The attorneys of McCune Wright Arevalo (MWA) have worked tirelessly alongside clients to pass boat carbon monoxide legislation and greatly reduce senseless deaths. MWA have represented a number of families who lost family members to carbon monoxide poisoning while boating.  But MWA also worked to make industry change and to raise awareness.  MWA  was heavily involved in getting California Assembly Bill 2222 (Kortez) passed. This bill “requires that a set of carbon monoxide warning stickers be placed on the transom and helm of all new and used motorized vessels sold in California on or after May 1, 2005.” MWA’s efforts have also led to registered boat owners in California, Washington, and Utah receiving important lifesaving information about boat CO dangers through the yearly boat registration process.  MWA has donated a portion of settlement funds to fund a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness, and to fund public service announcements.

Helping Families in Southern California and Beyond

MWA is dedicated to representing families who have lost a loved one from CO poisoning at the back of a recreational boat, and continues to advocate for change through new legislation, which would ultimately save boaters’ lives. In recent years, our attorneys have recovered large verdicts and settlements for clients across the Inland Empire region, including a $4.282 million verdict related to a ski boat manufacturing defect and a $4.25 million verdict in a motorcycle accident matter. If you have lost a loved one from deadly CO poisoning, or a loved one has been harmed in a boat-related incident, let us seek justice on their behalf and maximize your compensation. Call McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP at (909) 345-8110 today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.

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