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DNR Reminds Boaters to Beware of Carbon Monoxide While on the Water

July 21, 2021 7:44am

The Iowa DNR is reminding boaters to be aware of situations that can put them at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning while on the water.

DNR boating law administrator and education coordinator Susan Stocker, says boaters need to be aware of the carbon monoxide risk, especially when traveling at slow speeds or idling. Tailwind may also blow exhaust towards passengers.

Boaters are encouraged to avoid holding onto any portion of a swim platform, swim deck, swim step, or swim ladder for any amount of time while the boat is underway at any speed or the engine is idling. Anyone near the boat's engine or generator exhaust is exposed to carbon monoxide, which can cause them to lose consciousness and drown.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be mistaken for having too much sun, dehydration, or seasickness. Other symptoms may include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, seek immediate medical attention.

Steps to minimize exposure and impact of carbon monoxide include installing and maintaining a marine carbon monoxide detector, put children in the forward-most seating on the boat, avoid exposure to other boats' emissions, and maintain fresh air circulation at all times.