2007_08_coalarm.jpgYesterday afternoon, the Fire Department responded to a call about nine people, including seven children, who fell ill when carbon monoxide leaked from a boat's exhaust system. A number of adults and children were aboard the Lady V, a 39-foot cabin "miniyacht," was in Jamaica Bay, off Brooklyn.

The adults were upstairs, and the children and teenagers were downstairs. The Daily News reports that one of the kids went upstairs to tell the adults that some of the kids had fallen unconscious. Fire Chief Jim Dalton said the carbon monoxide levels were "out of sight. There were 800 parts per million. We evacuate [buildings] when there's only 90 parts per million."

Four children fell unconscious, but all seven victims, aged 6 to 18, are expected to recover. Added firefighter Glen Johnson, "It was a good thing we were so close. In a few more minutes, it could have been fatal. We were just in the right place at the right time."

A commenter points out that the U.S. Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction over boats, etc. in the waters, does not require carbon monoxide detectors. On shore, it's city law for building owners to put at least one approved CO alarm in each unit, whether the building had multiple dwellings or is a one- or two-family house: " The carbon monoxide alarms must be installed within fifteen feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room." And here's the Health Department on carbon monoxide.