Four Perish Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: A boat ran up on the shore of a lake with all four aboard dead from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The boat was traveling in rain at night and the operator had put a canvas over it, leaving a small opening above the helm. He was found dead at the helm; three passengers sleeping in the stern died in their sleep.
Investigation: It appeared that a “station wagon effect,” in which a boat creates a vacuum behind it that tends to pull exhaust fumes into the boat, could have been the cause. However, the canvas appeared to be placed in such a manner that it would have prevented or mitigated this effect.
Conclusion: Upon further investigation by the Tiger Team expert, at the probable speed the boat was running, the angle of the boat would have been such that the opening in the canvas at the helm created a “venturi effect.” This formed a lower pressure within the boat that drew CO through every small opening in and around the canvas and created a death zone within the boat.
In part 2 readers will find out about a Poker Run collision.
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