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MAIB SAFETY BULLETIN

MAIB Safety Bulletin: Carbon monoxide poisoning on board the motor cruiser Diversion on the River Ouse, in York, resulting in two fatalities, on 4 December 2019

MAIB Safety Bulletin: Carbon monoxide poisoning on board the motor cruiser Diversion on the River Ouse, in York, resulting in two fatalities, on 4 December 2019

The MAIB has today issued a safety bulletin (2/2020) relating to the tragic accident that occurred on 4 December 2019 when two men returned to 9.18m privately owned motor cruiser Diversion, which was moored on the river Ouse in York. The diesel fuelled heater had been leaking exhaust fumes into the boat’s cabin while they were ashore, and both men were overcome by a high level of carbon monoxide gas and died shortly after they entered the boat’s cabin.

This accident is still under investigation and the findings will be published by the MAIB in a full investigation report.

The key safety issues identified were:

  • No carbon monoxide alarm was fitted.
  • The cabin heater had been installed by the vessel’s owner, but the installation had not been professionally checked and no servicing had been carried out.

Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, said: “The MAIB investigation into this tragic loss of lives once again highlights the importance of installing carbon monoxide alarms on boats with enclosed accommodation spaces. This is the fifth fatal marine accident investigated since 2014, where a functioning carbon monoxide alarm could have saved lives. Carbon monoxide alarms suitable for the marine environment are readily available, inexpensive and simple to fit, and I urge boat owners to invest in one as soon as possible.

“It is commonplace for marine engines, generators, cookers and heaters to produce carbon monoxide during normal operation; amateur installation and unserviced appliances can introduce the risk of boat users inhaling lethal levels of this toxic gas. The importance of checking the installation and routine servicing of all such devices by a professional cannot be overstated.”

Image supplied by MAIB