Aug. 27, 2011, my son Sean died due to drowning caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Sean had spent 12 years driving around the lake on our family boat, a MasterCraft Maristar. He knew that boat inside and out and it was his prized possession. What neither Sean nor any of the rest of our family knew was that it was possible to be over-come by Carbon Monoxide in the open air. Sean and his two friends were cruising around the lake and were drifting around the sandbar when Sean decided to jump in and take a quick swim. The night was dead calm and the lake water was warm. Sean jumped into the water, swam around for a minute and then swam back to the boat where he held onto the dive platform and chatted with a friend who was sitting at the back of the boat. Within minutes, Sean was gone.
One boat engine can produce the same amount of carbon monoxide as over 180 cars. Hundreds of drowning deaths have been caused by “open-air” carbon monoxide poisoning yet none of us ever even considered the possibility.
Some states require carbon monoxide warning stickers be placed on the transom and helm of all new and used motorized vessels sold. This must be required in ALL 50 states and could be easily accomplished if states supplied the stickers along with the required Watercraft Registration decals and required (by statute) the display of the stickers on all recreational watercrafts.
On Aug. 26, 2011, the Coast Guard began initiating a rulemaking to consider options to prevent CO poisoning-related casualties on all recreational vessels, especially existing recreational vessels that are not affected by the 2008 EPA exhaust emission standards or by new technology for marine engines. Please sign this petition to let the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security know you support increased education and warnings regarding CO poisoning and recreational watercrafts.
Erin Stewart started this petition with a single signature, and now has 329 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.