Carbon monoxide warning


Inland Waterways Helmsman Instructors, how can you help raise awareness of CO poisoning?

Sadly,�in December 2019 there�were�two�further�fatalities�as a result of�carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning�on board a leisure vessel on the inland waterways.

As a result, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have issued a safety bulletin highlighting the importance of installing CO alarms on boats with enclosed accommodation spaces.

As instructors on vessels with covered accommodation, we can all play our part in raising awareness of this�potentially life-threatening�issue.�There are three parts to this:

1. During the initial vessel familiarisation session, students should identify�the�position of the CO alarm, and test it.�In doing this practically, it should be�a memorable activity�which they will be reminded of when they go to their own boat or hire one.

2. During the course students should be made aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, confusion, stomach pain and shortness of breath. Action to be taken should be understood � ventilating the area and seeking medical attention.

3. A discussion should be had to consider potential sources of carbon monoxide on the training vessel, with a view to �understanding� the�subject�

In addition to CO alarms, instructors should also introduce and explain�any other alarm system fitted to the boats,�for example�LPG.

The full MAIB safety bulletin is available here, or for more information please visit the main RYA website.

RYA Wavelength December 2020