Deaths prompt carbon monoxide warning

Two men lost their lives as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning on board ‘Diversion’ Photo: MAIB

Industry Database

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide after the loss of two lives on a motor cruiser.

On 4 December 2019 two men returned to the 9.18m motor cruiser Diversion, which was moored on the river Ouse in York. The diesel-fuelled heater had been leaking exhaust fumes into the boat’s cabin while they were ashore and both men were overcome by a high level of carbon monoxide gas and died shortly after entering the boat’s cabin.


Whilst an investigation by MAIB is on-going, initial findings indicate a number of failings. No carbon monoxide alarm was fitted, the cabin heater had been installed by the vessel’s owner, but the installation had not been professionally checked and no servicing had been carried out.

A statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents said, “The MAIB investigation into this tragic loss of lives once again highlights the importance of installing carbon monoxide alarms on boats with enclosed accommodation spaces. This is the fifth fatal marine accident investigated since 2014, where a functioning carbon monoxide alarm could have saved lives.

“The importance of checking the installation and routine servicing of all such devices by a professional cannot be overstated.”

The safety bulletin can be found here.

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