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VOL. 9 NO. 1
Take a class

Tow riders safely

Be wary of CO emissions

Tow riders safely

Today’s power boaters can tow an array of recreational devices behind their boats, from the thrilling wakeboards, wake skates and kneeboards, all with special tow rings and lines, to the more relaxing rafts and inner tubes.

Because of their popularity, towable devices call for extra care and attention to ensure rider safety. In addition to having everyone wear appropriately sized life jackets at all times, boaters should prepare for the unexpected—towlines coming loose and hidden obstructions that bounce riders around.

The exhaust from a gasoline-powered tow boat can be dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control, open-air carbon monoxide exposure to exhaust from gasoline-powered generators on houseboats can cause serious illness and death; however, CO poisoning resulting from direct exposure to CO in the exhaust of a ski boat or recreational towing boat can also occur.

Says the CDC, “Ambient CO concentrations have been measured as high as 27,000 parts per million (ppm) in the stern of boats involved in CO-poisoning fatalities. In comparison, the World Health Organization has set a ceiling limit on a person’s exposure to CO at 87 ppm during a 15-minute interval.”

So when you buy that cute little towable device for the kids or grandchildren, be extra careful that they’re nowhere near the source of emissions while you’re idling and helping them get ready for an afternoon of fun or when you’re hauling them onto the swim step after they’re finished.
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