Fire and safety company Safelincs has produced a free safety booklet

Boaters are being urged to safeguard against carbon monoxide poisoning with the help of a free guidance booklet.

It follows two suspected cases in Cumbria last month.

A mother and daughter, Kelly Webster and 10-year-old Lauren Thornton, died on Easter Monday after being overcome by fumes that are believed to have come from a faulty generator on a boat on Lake Windermere.

Ms Webster’s partner Matthew Etefson, 39, who owned the boat, was treated in hospital after the incident on April 1.

A second family was rushed to hospital from a boat on Lake Windermere five days later. It is believed they became ill after leaving the boat engine running with the canopy closed. All were released after treatment.

MP Barry Sheerman, chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG), has urged boaters to safeguard against the noxious gas by following Boat Safety Scheme advice.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas – often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’ – and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations.

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning, and include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

Mr Sheerman said: ‘Boat cabins are one of these environments where people need to be particularly careful.’

Fire and safety company Safelincs has worked with the Boat Safety Scheme and The Council of Gas Detection and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring (CoGDEM) to produce a free booklet, ‘Carbon
Monoxide Safety on Boats’.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director of Safelincs Ltd, said: ‘Carbon monoxide build-up in
boats is often overlooked.

‘With the temperatures as low as they have been over the last few weeks, many boat owners have had to heat their cabins with heating appliances that have not been used for a long time and which might not have been serviced for a while.

‘In recent years, escaped flue gases from solid fuel stoves or generator exhaust gases have been responsible for most of the deaths of boaters from CO poisoning.’

Download the leaflet at or call 0800 612 6537 for free printed copies.

(Picture: Safelincs managing director Harry Dewick-Eisele holds a copy of the Boat Safety booklet)