In Loving Memory

Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the most toxic substance you’ll come into contact with in your daily life – in your home, at work, garage, car, caravan and boat.

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Be safe. Practice the DOs and DON’Ts of carbon monoxide.

carbon monoxide in canvas enclosures

Inadequately ventilated canvas enclosures.

carbon monoxide exhaust from other boats

Exhaust gas trapped in enclosed places.

carbon monoxide at blocked outlets

Blocked exhaust outlets.

At slow speeds, while idling, or stopped. Be aware that CO can remain in or around your boat at dangerous levels even if your engine or the other boat’s engine is no longer running!

carbon monoxide exhaust from other boats

Another vessel’s exhaust. CO from the boat positioned next to you can be just as deadly.

carbon monoxide back drafting or station wagon effect

“Station wagon effect” or back drafting.

About Megan Evans

Megan Elizabeth Evans, only 7 years old, of Flagstaff, died suddenly Saturday, July 7, 2007, following a tragic accident while on a family trip to Lake Powell. While beached at a cove, Megan and a friend, Kayleen, were playing in the water behind the boats in which their families had arrived. Like so many other kids having fun at the lake, all was happy. The day was clear and sunny, the air warm and calm. The families of the girls were a mere stone’s throw away.

The engines of both boats were running with the propellers disengaged to recharge their batteries. As they ran, they emitted carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas. Because there was no wind that day, the gas hovered around the boats making the air toxic. Both girls unknowingly inhaled large quantities of carbon monoxide. Kayleen’s mother went to check on the girls as the laughter had stopped. What she found was a parent’s worst fear – her daughter was unconscious in the water. The group of people immediately tried to help her regain consciousness. Eventually, Kayleen responded and was saved. The paramedics and National Park Service were called.

In all the commotion, the parents had thought they had heard that Megan had climbed aboard the boat, but she had not. Megan had also inhaled a large amount of carbon monoxide and like her friend had passed out. Her body was found in the water. Megan was medevaced to Page Hospital, however, she succumbed to drowning, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Megan’s Cause has been established for the express purpose of education, awareness, safety and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in kids at Lake Powell. All donations will be used for the purpose of preventing such tragedies to other people, and specifically children.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced by all motors. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can become trapped near the swim platform of some boats, or anywhere near the engine’s exhaust. The lake’s houseboating community has been working to eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning through education and the manufacture of vertically vented exhaust systems. Carbon monoxide was responsible for 12 deaths and more than 100 non-fatal poisonings in a 10-year period through 2002 in Glen Canyon NRA.

Megan’s family and friends would like to help prevent other families from suffering the loss of a loved one to carbon monoxide poisoning and have set up the Megan Evans Memorial Cause to raise awareness of this unseen danger.

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Get in touch with the family of Megan Evans.

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