Carbon monoxide poisoning on motor cruiser Vasquez with loss of 1 life

Location: Cardiff Yacht Club, Wales.

Accident Investigation Report 18/2017

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and safety lessons learned:

MAIB investigation report 18-2017: Vasquez

Photograph of motor cruiser Vasquez

Summary

At approximately 1200 (UTC) on 12 November 2016, the owner of the 7.75m motor cruiser Vasquez fell unconscious after being overcome by carbon monoxide (CO) that had been emitted from failed rubber bellows that formed part of the inboard engine’s wet-exhaust system. Although rescuers came to his aid, it was not possible to save his life. The boat’s engine had not been regularly serviced and there was evidence that the exhaust system of the engine had been modified during the boat’s life.

Safety Issues

  • There still remains a significant task to raise boat owners’ awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide in recreational boating sector.

  • Due to the odourless nature of carbon monoxide, the fitting of a detector/alarm remains the only effective warning that the poisonous gas may be present.

  • It is important to seek professional advice and regularly service a boat’s engine, in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, to ensure it remains reliable and safe to use.

Recommendations

Given the recommendations issued following the MAIB’s recent Love for Lydia investigation, no further recommendations are made.

Accident Investigation Report 9/2017: Love for Lydia

Safety Bulletin 2-2016: Love for Lydia

Accident Investigation Report 2-2015: Arniston

Published 10 August 2017