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State Parks warns of carbon monoxide danger around boats

Be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) dangers while boating on Utah's waters. CO is a potentially deadly gas produced anytime a carbon-based fuel is burned, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal or oil. Utah State Parks boating rangers recommend carrying a marine CO detector on board. 

CO is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and mixes evenly in the air. It enters the bloodstream through the lungs and displaces oxygen in the body. Do not confuse CO poisoning with seasickness, intoxication, or heat or marine stressors. 

Sources of CO on boats include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges, and space and water heaters. Cold and poorly tuned engines produce more CO than warm, properly-tuned engines. Boat exhaust leaks can cause CO poisoning. These leaks can migrate throughout the boat and into enclosed areas. Regular maintenance and proper boat operation can reduce the risk of CO poisoning.

It is illegal to operate a motorboat or have the engine of a motorboat run idle while a person is occupying or holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step, swim ladder or while a person is being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel. These restrictions do not apply when the motorboat is docking, or while persons are entering or exiting the vessel.

For more information on the dangers of CO while boating, download a copy of the CO brochure at

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