While enjoying a boating trip with her friends, a 15-year-old girl drowned when she was exposed to carbon monoxide, an odorless gas emitted from the boat’s motor while she and her friends held on to the back of the boat. Unfortunately, she wasn’t wearing a life jacket and, after she fell unconscious, she dropped into the water and drowned.
During the Texas heat, many people enjoy the cool relief of a day at the pool or going out on the lake. While we love to see folks having fun around the water, we also want to promote the safe enjoyment of these activities.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer that poses a huge risk for unsuspecting boaters and passengers. When the engine is on, whether or not the boat is in motion, the gas is present. When inhaled, it replaces the oxygen in your blood stream and can become fatal within minutes.
And remember that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requires all passengers under 13 years of age to wear a lifejacket at all times while boating, and the law requires a lifejacket for every occupant on board, in the event they might need one.
Next time you hit the water, practice good safety habits to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. Remember that lifejackets are crucial items to have at your disposal on the boat, and always be aware of weak or inexperienced swimmers in the water.
Lastly, inform your passengers about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to safely interact around the boat. Raising awareness of the issue is a good way to deter future accidents from occurring.