Carbon monoxide poisoning due to intake of exhaust gas fumes into cabin spaces of motor cruiser Chapter Two with 7 people affected

Location: Transiting the River Medway, England.

Accident Investigation Report 36/2000

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made:

Chapter II - Synopsis (60.07 kb)

chapter2.pdf (2,832.42 kb)


This reports the MAIB’s investigation into the intake of exhaust gas fumes into the cabin spaces of the motorised pleasure craft Chapter Two while transiting the River Medway, England on 31 December 1999. The boat owner and his family, including their two children, boarded the boat at Medway Bridge Marina with the intention of sailing up the Thames. The boat was moved to the fuel pontoon where the portable tanks were filled, due to the cold weather the canvas hood of the cockpit area was left up and the cabin heater started. During the early part of the passage the children complained of being ill and a little later the other passengers felt seasick and complained of headaches. When the boat drew near to buoy 31 the children collapsed, followed shortly by the owners wife. The owner was at the helm at this time. Realising that they all appeared to be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, he ordered everybody out on deck before informing the emergency services by a 999 telephone call that an ambulance would be needed on arrival at the marina. The owner turned the boat around and headed back to the Medway Bridge. On arrival, they were met by the police, fire and ambulance services when all on board were treated with oxygen before going to hospital for a check-up. Following further checks and blood tests, three of the passengers were sent for further treatment in a hyperbaric chamber at Portsmouth. All fully recovered.

Recommendations have been made to Krueger Ltd, Fairline Boats plc and Eberspacher (UK) Ltd.

Published: 8 December 2000

Published 23 January 2015