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Gas Leaks on Vessels - Knowledge Gateway in Australia - WeQuestion

Gas Leaks on Vessels

Gas Leaks

Dangers of gas leaks

A vessel’s engines, generators, and cooking appliances emit toxic gas emissions. The gas leaks can damage people’s eyes and lungs on board.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

It is a colorless, odorless gas that can be death-causing if inhaled continuously. It is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when a carbon-based fuel such as diesel, petrol, charcoal, or oil is burnt. The deadly gas carbon monoxide is produced by many engines, generators, and fuel-burning cooking equipment. Intense concentrations of carbon monoxide can kill within minutes.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • irritation in eyes
  • dizziness

If you think you are seasick, or if you feel very dizzy, sick to your stomach, or sleepy the symptoms are very similar, it is possible you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Sometimes in this situation, the victim may not receive the medical attention they need. This will eventually result in death from a leak.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

LPG is used in gas appliances on boats and has a strong, unpleasant smell. It will be heavier than air and flow downwards, gathering in the bilge. LPG is dangerous to ship if it leaks, it can cause explosions and fires. The vapor from LPG can cause asphyxiation if inhaled in large amounts.

What to do when gas leaks

Be ready to take action if you encounter any signs of carbon monoxide, such as ill passengers or a gas odor. If you suspect that, then immediately

  • Turn off the engine.
  • Switch off the appliances and cylinders.
  • Move everyone away from the area and ensure they are breathing fresh air.
  • You should wait until the air is clear before using any electrical switches.
  • If you see someone who appears to be having a medical emergency, give CPR if needed.
  • If you are in need of medical assistance, contact your local search and rescue unit.

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