Bill requiring Carbon Monoxide warning stickers on Oklahoma boats passes the House Public Safety Committee
The Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee passed a bill requiring all boats purchased or operated in Oklahoma to prominently display a carbon monoxide warning sticker.
The bill is named after Andrew Free, a nine-year-old from Broken Arrow who died of carbon monoxide poison after a day of boating on Lake Eufaula in 2020. Rep. Dean Davis (R-Broken Arrow), who authored House Bill 2010, or “Andy’s Law,” said Free’s death hit close to home.
“I have nieces that are boaters, and they wake board, and we sit on the boat,” Davis said. “And so many of my friends and family just never had the realization that this was a danger.”
Gasoline-powered boat engines and generators release Carbon Monoxide and the colorless, odorless gas can build up undetected in the boat’s cabin and around open-air swim decks at the back of the boat, especially on crafts that have been idling or moving at slow speeds.
A study commissioned by the US Coats Guard identified more than 800 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning on boats between 1981 and 2008. Two of the country’s earliest recorded cases of boat-related carbon monoxide poisoning happened on Oklahoma’s Keystone Lake in 1984, resulting in the death of a twelve-year-old. In 2006, at least 20 people were affected by Carbon Monoxide inhalation while sleeping on a houseboat on Lake Texoma; all survived after receiving medical treatment. Read more…