Boy Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning after Day Out on a BoatA day that began as a fun family outing on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma on June 6 for the Free family quickly ended in tragedy when a nine-year-old boy died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Andrew Brady, the youngest child in the Free family, spent most of the day on the back of the boat. Towards the end of the day, the child fell off the boat and into the water after going unresponsive. He could not be revived.

According to Mrs. Free, the family had not considered the long no-wake zone they had to travel through in order to get back to the dock. A no-wake zone is an area on the water where boats must travel slow enough that they do not create a wake, which can damage docked boats.

“Andy, he crawled onto the back of the boat and curled up in a ball,” she said. “We were packing and cleaning up and the kids are groaning that they don’t feel good, just want to take a nap. My husband got Blake, my middle son, up. When he tried to get Andy, the boat just rocked and Andy rolled off. My husband, he was like, ‘What the heck?'”

Two men jumped into the lake and recovered the child, but it was too late. No matter what his rescuers or first responders did, Andrew Brady could not have been saved because of his internal levels of carboxyhemoglobin, which were at 72 percent. This means that 72 percent of his blood was unable to carry oxygen back to his brain, leading to Andrew Brady being brain dead. The child was likely brain dead when he rolled off the boat into the lake.

The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

All three children of the Free family exhibited telltale signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

Sadly, all of these signs can be easily confused with sun poisoning.

Experts warn that the rear of the boat is the most dangerous place because of the exhaust. Most boat exhaust systems are located in the rear and the exhaust can blow back into the boat. It’s a good idea to switch places where you sit when on a boat ride to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

The unexpected loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when you lose a child. Merkel & Cocke, P.A. wants you to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, you that you can help protect your loved ones. For information about our services, please call 662-627-9641 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We have offices in Jackson, Clarksdale, and Oxford in addition to serving clients in the City of Tupelo.