® | Official Canadian Boating License

Carbon Monoxide .. Continued

Be aware that CO can build up when:

  • Two vessels are tied to each other;
  • You are docked alongside a seawall;
  • Under swim ladders and between pontoons;
  • You are traveling at high speed with a high bow angle;
  • A fuel-burning appliance or engine is running while your vessel is not moving.

If your boat has accommodations (houseboat, sailboat etc) and is fitted with an inboard engine, a generator, or
a fuel-burning appliance, you should install a high-quality carbon monoxide detector close to where people will be sleeping.

REMEMBER: Do not confuse carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms (headache, nausea and fatigue) with
seasickness or intoxication.


Treatment of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is reversible. When exposure to carbon monoxide is discontinued, the gas is spontaneously released from the blood.

If a person experiences the symptoms of CO poisoning, it is very important that you :

  • Remove them from the areas where the gas may be present;
  • Investigate the source of carbon monoxide and correct it if possible;
  • Use or exhibit signals to indicate distress and need of assistance if necessary; and
  • Seek medical attention if necessary. In extreme cases, the person could be placed in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves a full-body chamber that uses oxygen under pressure.

Although a person exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning may look and behave as normal, they may in fact be subtly but seriously affected. Anyone who has had exposure to carbon monoxide should seek medical attention.

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