State Capitol News
1:19 am
Tue January 8, 2008

Flagstaff family pushes for boat safety law

Phoenix, AZ – A Flagstaff couple is hoping to
translate their personal tragedy
into legislation to protect others.
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.


Jennifer and Matthew Evans were vacationing last summer
at Lake Powell with friends while their children were
swimming. What he said they did not know is the level
of dangerous gases produced by the boat motors even
while they were idling to recharge the batteries. The
result was that their 7-year-old daughter, Megan,
succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. He said boat
manufacturers have come to realize the problem and have
redesigned the engines.

(Problem is, there are thousands and thousands of boats
out there that don't have these safeguards that are in
the hands of private owners who don't have the
education. And without something like this particular
bill being passed we're going to continue to hear
stories of families that are suffering like ours.)

The legislation by Rep. Albert Tom would make it a
crime to swim or be in the water near the exhaust ports
while the boat is operating. It also would require all
boats to have a carbon monoxide warning sticker and
mandate the state Game and Fish Department to provide a
warning brochure every time a motorized boat is
registered to a new owner. No date has been set for a
hearing. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.