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Its cold, its wet, its dark and the batteries are not holding their charge - run the generator but BE SAFE. Records of incidents related to the use of generators over the past 25 years collated by the BSS show that 10 people have been killed and another 10 have been taken for emergency hospital treatment in 24 incidents. A table of those incidents with brief details follows: Brief Details 1992 Southern English river fire A fire linked to the use of a petrol generator 1996 Canal fire Fire believed to have been caused during the refilling of the generator with petrol. 1998 East Midlands river CO The narrowboat owner and his pet dog died of carbon monoxide poisoning. A portable generator and poor ventilation are believed to have been the cause. 1999 North of England canal CO Two boaters went to sleep. The lady woke up suffering from the effects of gas inhalation. Her husband was discovered dead by the emergency services. The inquest found the cause of the carbon monoxide poisoning was a portable generator found in the engine compartment. 2000 Southern English canal ‐ The body of this boater was found at the bottom of the bed under which was a locker for his petrol generator. There was an open plastic petrol refuelling can at his feet. There was also a petrol driven chain saw and a cigarette lighter there as well. The generator petrol tank was full so it is likely he had filled it up. The coroner reported death as an accident and the probable cause was careless handling of petrol. 2003 West Midlands canal CO This boater purchased the craft and lived permanently aboard for three months before his death. The boat was very sparsely fitted having only a gas cooker and a fairly new generator on board. The generator was found in the cabin with a mobile phone charger and phone connected. The generator fuel tank was empty. The cause of death has been established as CO poisoning from the generator and very high levels of the toxin was found in his blood. 2004 Scottish coast Fire An owner of a yacht sailing was filling petrol generator aboard vapours are thought to have entered cabin and were ignited by cooker that was alight at the time. The boat sank and was a total loss. The man escaped in an inflatable tender. 2005 Southern English river CO A motor cruiser owner was taken to hospital with the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and kept in overnight. A generator running inside vessel was believed to be the source of the toxic fumes 2005 Anglian canal Fire The owner of a narrowboat went ashore and left a generator running that became the cause of a fire 2006 N East coast CO A new crew member on a small fishing boat stayed aboard the vessel in port. He brought electrical consumer goods aboard and powered them from a generator running in a non gas tight hold. The fumes from the exhaust found their way back into the accommodation space and caused his death. 2006 E Midlands river CO A boater was taken to hospital with CO poisoning after running a generator in his craft's engine compartment 2006 Anglian Canal CO The liveaboard boater was found towards the aft of his narrowboat. In the winter he ran the generator on the back deck of the boat which was covered by a tarpaulin. In the summer the boater usually ran the generator on the bank. 2008 N West lake Fire A newly acquired 11m wooden boat, bought for living aboard a remote location on a lake was in the process of having remedial works carried out. The friend of the owner who was working on the boat, refuelled a generator in the cockpit area and during this process petrol vapours ignited, possibly by the lowly situated pilot light of the gas‐powered fridge in the cabin. The fire service had to take a ferry to attend the fire as this was quicker than taking the road. However, despite that, by the time the fire crews arrived, the boat was already fully alight throughout and could not be saved. The owner told the local newspaper that it was an uninsured £13,000 total loss and also had to pay £2000 to have the wreck removed. A navigation authority employee who attended the scene said to the reporter that they had to prevent the blazing craft drifting into other boats moored nearby. 2008 N West canal Exp Firefighters were forced to flag down a passing narrowboat to reach the scene of an explosion which injured a man on a midlands Canal. The man suffered serious burns when a fireball shot through a boat. Firefighters and a community first responder flagged down passing narrowboats to get to the incident and carry one of the injured to a waiting ambulance. A volunteer first responder with the ambulance service, said: “The windows had all been blown out but thankfully the boat itself hadn’t caught fire. “[The boater] suffered potentially serious burns to his face, arms and feet and I started treating him. “There had been an explosion in a generator at the front of the boat and a fireball had gone through the cabin, blowing the windows out.” The cause according to insurance investigators was a petrol leak from the generator. Another boater aboard was unharmed. 2008 E Midlands canal CO A MAN was found unconscious by emergency services after collapsing near a generator at the front of his boat. He suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. Paramedics gave him oxygen and then took him to a local A&E hospital, but he was transferred to another hospital 90 miles away, for specialist treatment. A police spokesman said the man had very high levels of carbon monoxide in his blood. It is believed that he inhaled the fumes after collapsing near a generator on the boat. 2010 Southern canal CO A man was carrying out remedial works on a converted commercial boat and had brought aboard a generator for heating and lighting. Having carried out some painting works, the generator was left running aboard to power a heater to help dry the paint. Later that evening the victim returned to the vessel to refuel the generator. His body was found aboard the boat the following morning. 2010 Anglian river Fire/Exp The owner of a cabin cruiser was refuelling generator on stern of his vessel when the metal fuel can touched an uninsulated battery connection. This caused a spark that ignited the fuel vapour. That set his clothes alight and he ended up in the river. A local newspaper report gave this account: A man was with his family and a friend in a riverside pub’s beer garden when he smelled smoke. "It was about 8.30pm. ..." "I looked towards the river and saw flames and then I heard a scream quickly followed by a splash. "I jumped a fence and saw a man struggling in the water, so I got hold of him and tried to pull him out of the river, but he slipped back. "At the time I thought I couldn’t get a grip on him, I thought because of the water, but I later realised it must have been the skin on his arms. It was literally peeling off because he’d been so badly burned." The rescuer eventually managed to drag the boater from the river but the drama was not over as the boater warned his rescuer there were gas canisters still on board the burning boat. At this point the boat was completely engulfed by flames and the rescuer's friend took the boater aside to try and calm him down while the emergency services were called. The rescuers said "There were about 50 people in the pub who’d come out to see what was going on so, with the help of staff, we tried to get everyone back inside. We were worried there could be a serious explosion." The rescuers friend said "The boater’s arms and body were completely covered in burns and his skin was hot to the touch and just falling off. I got him inside the pub where staff took him to the kitchen to pour cold water over him." Police and fire crews quickly arrived on the scene and the blaze was eventually extinguished shortly after 10pm. The victim had suffered 50 per cent burns to his body and was taken by ambulance to a local A&E hospital. He was later transferred to a specialist burns unit 25 miles away. 2010 Northern canal Fire/Exp A narrowboat’s owner had put the portable generator in the engine space with all the hatches and doors closed to charge batteries and run a fridge. The skipper noticed a change in generator noise and went to investigate. He switched off the generator and an explosion occurred. There was extensive damage to the structure of the steel boat as well as damage to the furniture and fitments. The owner suffered burns. He thought the generator would be unsafe on the towpath. 2011 Anglian coast CO A COUPLE almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning after a generator leaked on their yacht. Their craft was at anchor in a coastal inlet, when they started to feel the effects. The lady fell unconscious, leaving her husband battling to get them to safety. A leak in an improvised exhaust connected to the generator allowed exhaust fumes to flood deadly carbon monoxide into the boat. The skipper was quoted in the local newspaper: “The first point I was aware something was going on was when I got weird muscle spasms. “Then my wife passed out and I knew that something was very wrong. I became very weak myself, and I couldn’t have been far off passing out. 2012 N West coast Fire An 18m former fishing vessel was completely destroyed by fire. The fire broke out just after midnight and the fire spread to a nearby jetty building at the site. The fire service found access was difficult as the boat was lying on mud banks, particularly in the dark. Sourcing water to use was also a problem for the fire‐fighters and six engines had to form a relay. The owners were not aboard, but the fire service understands that the owners spent some time living on it. The probable cause was thought to be a fault with a generator. 2012 S East river Fire An 18m narrowboat caught fire on moorings. The navigation authority reporting the incident advised that the cause was probably linked to the use of a generator may be linked. 2013 N West lake CO A “suitcase” type portable petrol‐driven generator had an improvised installation in the motor cruiser’s engine bay. The generator had been fitted with a non‐standard exhaust system that when run under load, detached from both the generator and the outlet on the vessel’s side. As a result, the generator’s exhaust fumes filled the engine bay and filtered through gaps in an internal bulkhead into the aft cabin where a mother and daughter were asleep. The boat owner awoke from his bunk in the boat’s forward cabin, to find he was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning but he was eventually able to raise the alarm. Emergency services could not revive mother and daughter. The nature of the generators installation also introduced additional potential fire and explosion hazards to the boat. 2014 Southern canal CO Neighbouring boaters alert the emergency services when they saw the boat owner slumped in chair with the body of his dog alongside. Inquest found that the boater had been using a portable generator while watching a film on his laptop when he died. He had his generator running on his back deck with a canopy over it. 2015 Midlands canal Fire A liveaboard owner of a small cabin cruiser was forced to leap overboard and his guest had a narrow escape when the small cabin cruiser they were on went up in flames. The breakfast time incident resulted in the death of the man’s pet dog and the total loss of his home. The boat was already well alight when the two fire crews reached the site. A local newspaper quoted the fire officer in charge: “It appears the fire was caused when the owner had been refilling an onboard generator. The fumes and petrol had created a fireball.“ The owner was forced to jump into the water while the other occupant was able to get off onto the footpath.“ Sadly the dog that was inside died.”