Emma Louise fatal carbon monoxide poisoning report published

The vessel Emma Louise
The vessel Emma Louise

On the morning of 12 January 2022, two men were found unconscious on board the sports cruiser, Emma Louise, which was berthed in Port Hamble Marina, on the River Hamble, England. It was later established that both men had died because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The two men had boarded the boat the previous evening and had left the engine running while they remained in the boat’s covered cockpit area. The MAIB investigation concluded that the boat’s exhaust gas, which contained carbon monoxide, had likely been funnelled into the cockpit by an inflatable towable ski ring that was suspended from the transom of Emma Louise. The levels of carbon monoxide would have increased in the cockpit, rendering both men unconscious and causing their deaths. There was no means of alerting the men to the danger because a carbon monoxide alarm had not been fitted to the boat.

Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Andrew Moll OBE, said:
“The accident onboard Emma Louise serves as another dreadful reminder of the danger posed by carbon monoxide and the speed at which damage to health and collapse can occur. With no CO detector fitted the two men were unaware of the danger and were tragically overcome within minutes of starting the cruiser’s engine.

“CO is colourless, tasteless and odourless and difficult for people to detect. It is essential that CO alarms are fitted in areas where carbon monoxide can accumulate such as the cabins and cockpits of motor cruisers. Never ignore the smell of exhaust fumes in any enclosed space. Boat users are once again reminded of the three simple but life saving measures that will help you to stay CO safe: install and maintain equipment properly; fit CO alarms and test them regularly; and always ensure there is adequate ventilation in the cabin.”

Download the full report: Emma Louise Report

Download the accompanying safety flyer: Emma Louise Safety Flyer

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