A man, who was found on board his motor cruiser at Cardiff Yacht Club, died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. The MAIB has released its initial findings.

22 November

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has announced its initial findings after a fatal accident at Cardiff Yacht Club.

The owner of the motor cruiser, Vasquez was discovered shortly after midday collapsed in the cabin by two fellow club members on 12 November 2016.

Despite the efforts of the two men and members of the emergency services he did not regain consciousness.

The MAIB said at the time of the accident the boat was secured to a club pontoon.

Vasquez moored at Cardiff Yacht Club. Owner is suspected to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Vasquez. Credit: Robert Cranstone

The inboard petrol engine was running and the canvas cockpit canopy was fully closed except for one zip that was undone.

Approximately 45 minutes after he had started the engine, the owner was discovered collapsed in the cabin. Two club members boarded the boat and began to administer CPR.

Paramedics arrived and immediately recognised that the rescuers were displaying symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

They removed the cockpit cover and continued to administer CPR to the owner.

The owner was transported to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Both rescuers were confirmed as suffering from CO poisoning and treated in hospital.

The MAIB said that initial tests showed high levels of CO inside the cockpit with the engine running.

The boat was not fitted with a CO detector/alarm.


14 November

Three men have been treated for the effects of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning following a leak on board a motor boat at Cardiff Yacht Harbour.

Firefighters from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to the club on the afternoon of 12 November, 2016.

Members of the Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team also assisted in the evacuation.

A spokesman for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said when the crew arrived, three men were found on board.

“One man had suspected carbon monoxide poisoning and two were suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide,” she said.

The three men were all given oxygen therapy at the scene before being transferred to the University Hospital of Wales by ambulance.

Firefighters then used a PPV fan to ventilate the motor boat.

Back in August, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a warning after the deaths of a couple on their motor cruiser in the Norfolk Broads.

The safety bulletin recommended that carbon monoxide alarms, similar to those used in caravans and homes, were fitted to boats.

It also highlighted the many sources of carbon monoxide on board including engines, generators, solid fuel burners and cookers.

Alan Frost and Tina Wilkins, along with their pet dog, died in June on board the Doral 250 SE motor cruiser, Love for Lydia, at Wroxham, Norfolk.