The Royal Yachting Association is urging boaters to watch a hard-hitting video they have put together on the dangers posed by carbon monoxide

The Royal Yachting Association is urging boaters to watch a festive but hard-hitting video they have put together on the dangers posed by carbon monoxide.

The short, festive video hopes to reduce incidents, fatalities and ill health related to the poisonous gas.

Around 40 people die and over 4,000 are injured in the UK every year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has investigated three double-fatalities due to carbon monoxide on boats since 2013, in North Yorkshire, the Lake District and Norfolk.

And an investigation is currently under way after a man was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Cardiff on a privately-owned cabin cruiser just last month.

“The message is simple: carbon monoxide kills and an alarm could save your life,” said RYA cruising manager, Stuart Carruthers. “Boats are built to keep water out but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes.

“There are many sources of carbon monoxide on boats including engines, generators, solid fuel burners and cookers. Canopies on deck can allow poisonous gases to build up, rapidly reaching fatal levels. Ventilation is essential.

“It’s known as ‘the silent killer’ because you can’t see, smell or taste it and it kills 40 people a year across the UK while injuring thousands more.”

As temperatures drop, the RYA is reminding boaters that even low levels of the poison can cause lasting damage to your health.

“CO detectors are commonplace in homes but less so on boats despite them being the perfect place for the poisonous gas to build up.

“The RYA recommends fitting an alarm that is certified to the British Standard as suitable for use when camping or in recreational vehicles such as boats and caravans, which is known as BS EN50291-2:2010,” he said.

Carbon monoxide causes symptoms similar to colds and flu, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, confusion, stomach pain, and shortness of breath.

If carbon monoxide is suspected, stop the source, get to fresh air and seek medical attention immediately.