Salt Lake City – Be aware of carbon monoxide dangers while boating on Utah’s waters. Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas produced when carbon-based fuel, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal or oil, burns.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, and mixes evenly in the air. It enters the bloodstream through the lungs and displaces oxygen in the body. Do not confuse carbon monoxide poisoning with seasickness, intoxication, or heat or marine stressors.
“If someone on board complains of irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness, or dizziness, immediately move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention if necessary,” advises Utah State Parks Boating Program Assistant Manager Chris Haller.
Sources of carbon monoxide on boats include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges, and space and water heaters. Cold and poorly tuned engines produce more carbon monoxide than warm, properly-tuned engines. Boat exhaust leaks can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. These leaks can migrate throughout the boat and into enclosed areas. Regular maintenance and proper boat operation can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is illegal to operate a motorboat or have the engine of a motorboat run idle while a person is occupying or holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step, swim ladder or while a person is being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel. These restrictions do not apply when the motorboat is docking, or while persons are entering or exiting the vessel.
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