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Overloading Caused CO poisoning On Boat At Port Jeff: Report

Patch logo Patch 6/30/2020 Nikki Gaskins
a sign on the side of a road: Pictured: Area of 25 East Broadway in Port Jefferson © Google Earth Pictured: Area of 25 East Broadway in Port Jefferson

PORT JEFFERSON, NY—A carbon monoxide leak on a a 35-foot boat that sickened 16 people Sunday in Port Jefferson was caused, in part, by the vessel being overcrowded, according to Suffolk Police and the Town of Brookhaven Fire Marshal.

According to Newsday, the leak occurred when the boat was operated at a high bow angle, with a heavy load of passengers and with the canvas up, reducing the amount of natural ventilation — commonly known as backdrafting or the "station wagon effect."

The boat, Captain Ryan, was traveling from City Island in the Bronx to Port Jefferson when numerous people onboard became sick with carbon monoxide poisoning at about 2 p.m.

The boat was able to dock at Danford's Marina at 25 East Broadway with 16 out of the 17 people on board sick. Marine Bureau and Sixth Precinct police officers, as well as members of the Port Jefferson Fire Department, the United States Coast Guard, Brookhaven Town bay constables and fire marshals, responded to the dock and determined there was carbon monoxide inside the cabin of the boat, affecting 12 adults and four children ages 10 to 13.

Chief Fire Marshal Christopher Mehrman told the newspaper that the carbon monoxide originated from the "motors and the generator running while the boat was going slow because it was over occupied."

After a safety inspection of the vessel, two tickets were issued for having expired safety flares and having less than the required number of personal floatation devices.

To view additional details, read more in Newsday.

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