Tragic Boating Death

Robert Edwards Sept. 5, 2013

In today's Star Tribune there was a follow-up article to one earlier this week about a boating accident on Lake of the Woods last Sunday. In the earlier article mentioned that three friends were out boating and two of them died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. There was some question as to how this could of happened. That is answered in today's article. It turns out that the boat's owner (who died in the accident) had jury rigged the exhaust system of the boat due to a leak. Eight pop can was used to plug one of the exhaust pipes to prevent water from getting in. This had the unintended effect of causing exhaust fumes to back up into the engine compartment. As a result, the fumes then backed up into the passenger area and overcame all three men, killing two of them. Both of the dead men were from Champlin.

Just as with automobiles, the owner of the boat has a legal obligation to make sure it is in safe and sound condition. Assuming the boat owner purchased insurance on the boat, there would be liability coverage for the death of the passenger. There is also a remote possibility that the boat owner's homeowners insurance policy would cover some of the conduct in this case. However, most homeowners policies are able to exclude liability for activities relating to automobiles, ATVs, or boats, unless the homeowner purchases a specific rider on the policy for that purpose.

At the end of the day this is just another senseless death which could have been prevented in the exercise of reasonable care.