Tampa Tribune, THOMAS W. KRAUSE – A pleasure trip aboard a cabin cruiser Sunday morning put three passengers in danger when they were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, officials with Clearwater Fire & Rescue said.
About 7 a.m., nine people aboard a 40-foot Wellcraft cabin cruiser left Island Estates for a fishing trip, said Joel Gray, the Clearwater fire marshal. When the boat returned shortly after noon, one member of the group went into the cabin to wake three people who had decided to take a nap.
The sleeping boaters could not be awakened, Gray said. Rescue crews determined a young woman and two men had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, Gray said, presumably from the boat’s diesel engine.
They were transported to Morton Plant Hospital, then sent to another hospital where they could be treated in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, rescue officials said. It was unclear where they were being treated Sunday night. The victims’ names and conditions were unavailable Sunday.
Although most cases of carbon monoxide poisoning occur in homes, Gray has seen cases in cars and boats, he said. In a car such as a station wagon, he said, people should not drive with the tailgate window open. Fumes can accumulate inside the vehicle.
“We have the same dynamics in a boat,” Gray said. An investigation is under way to determine how the fumes entered the cabin.