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Minnesota child’s death prompts Sophia’s Law for CO detectors on boats

June 1st, 2016 / By: / Industry News, News

Minnesota law now requires carbon monoxide detectors on boats with enclosed spaces, according to WWCO News. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, but extremely toxic. There were 1,200 carbon monoxide poisonings nationwide last year, and 500 deaths. WCCO reports that in Minnesota, 5 percent of carbon monoxide poisonings are on boats.

Sophia’s Law is named after Sophia Baechler, a 7-year-old girl who died last year from carbon monoxide poisoning while her family was boating on Lake Minnetonka. The Minnesota DNR will include information about engine exhaust with all boat registrations. Most new boats already have carbon monoxide detectors. More information about the bill is available on the Minnesota State Legislature website.

Sophia’s Law brings the Minnesota definition of enclosed accommodation compartment in line with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards. It also prohibits new boats from being operated on Minnesota waters without a carbon monoxide detection system. National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and ABYC staff worked with the senate sponsor in Minnesota on the bill. All boats 19 feet and longer will now be required to have CO warning labels. According to NMMA, these labels will be supplied by the Department of Natural. The new law will take effect on May 1, 2017. For more information contact Libby Yranski, lyranski@nmma.org.

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