Broads carbon monoxide deaths tragedy triggers “urgent” warning from investigators

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where tw

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

An ongoing investigation into the deaths of two people found on a boat in Wroxham has found it took less than three minutes for carbon monoxide levels on board to become dangerously high.

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where tw

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has today issued an 'urgent carbon monoxide warning' following the tragedy on June 9 which claimed the lives of Essex couple Alan Frost, 64, and Tina Wilkins, 51, along with their dog, while they were moored near Wrxoxham Island on the River Bure.

The bulletin reveals that a slight wind caused exhaust gas to reach a canopy and, then, the accommodation area, with the concentration reaching high levels in less than three minutes.

The area was not ventilated and, with no carbon monoxide alarm fitted on board, the couple 'were overcome', the bulletin says.

The MAIB is now urging boaters to ensure they have taken the necessary precautions.

Love for Lydia, the boat on which two people and their dog were found dead on the Broads. Picture: M

Love for Lydia, the boat on which two people and their dog were found dead on the Broads. Picture: Marine Accident Investigation Branch - Credit: Archant


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Steve Clinch, chief inspector, said: 'Carbon monoxide alarms are commonplace in our homes and in caravans, but the tragic deaths of a couple and their dog on Love for Lydia are a reminder of the dangers of carbon monoxide on boats.

'This is the third double fatality due to carbon monoxide poisoning that we have investigated in around three years.'

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He said engines, generators, solid fuel burners and cookers were among the sources of carbon monoxide and that canopies on deck allowed poisonous gases to build up.

'Carbon monoxide is a silent killer with symptoms similar to colds and flu,' he said.

'If carbon monoxide is suspected, it is important to stop the source, get to fresh air and seek medical attention. A carbon monoxide alarm could save your life.'

A full report into the deaths will be published after the investigation is complete.

As part of the safety bulletin, the MAIB have released a video shot aboard Love for Lydia, the couple's cruiser.

If you have a Broads story, email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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