Boat deaths prompt carbon monoxide warning

Published: Wednesday, 16 June 2021

THE deaths of two boaters from carbon monoxide poisoning on their boat on the Ouse in York has prompted more warnings.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch's (MAIB) report told that post-mortem examinations found the primary cause of death for both men was carbon monoxide poisoning with their boat not fitted with a carbon monoxide detector, Alan Tilbury reports.

Faulty heater

This has resulted in a safety warning being  issued after the two men died on the boat as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heater.

Ronald Vincent Holmes, (60), and Stephen Jewitt, (63), died after returning to the vessel moored in York on the 3rd December 2019 after socialising with friends.


After concerns that they had not returned home a search was made of the boat and their bodies then discovered. It was ascertained that a diesel-fuelled cabin heater had been switched on during a trip that was faulty, causing the deaths.

Alcohol and caffeine were also found in their bodies. It being likely the effects of alcohol made the two unaware of the early signs of the carbon monoxide.

Captain Andrew Moll, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, urged all boat owners to ensure they fitted an alarm and tested it regularly.