Two boaters and a dog died after a potential carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake in Tennessee, according to WDEF News.

The incident happened near Harrison Island. The victims’ families reported them missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office early Sunday. The victims were Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga. They had not been heard from since Saturday.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Officer Joe McSpadden heard about the boat from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office about 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

They found the couple’s boat Sunday. The boat was a 34’ bayliner, which was found in a cove near the 477 mile marker. The bodies of both people and their pet were discovered on board. Officials have said they may have died because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator on their boat.

The 34 ‘ bayliner is a boat with an enclosed cabin. The TWRA has confirmed three previous fatalities due to carbon monoxide poisoning since 2010. In all cases, enclosed cabin boats were involved.

The bodies of both victims were transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s office. The case remains under investigation.

More than 150 people die every year due to unintentional, non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning associated with consumer products, such as generators, as in this case, according to the CPSC. Unlike fire or smoke, when carbon monoxide fills an enclosed space, like the boat cabin, people cannot see or smell it, which is why it’s called “the invisible killer.” Carbon monoxide can quickly incapacitate and kill people, so it’s very important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your homes, businesses, and boats.

At first, carbon monoxide poisoning can feel like the flu, with symptoms including headache, dizziness, and fatigue. High levels can lead to loss of consciousness and death.

Levels of carbon monoxide between 1 and 70 ppm will likely not be noticed, unless the person has a heart condition and will experience some chest pain. As levels creep past 70 ppm, nausea, fatigue, and headache may be noticed. At sustained levels above 150 to 200 ppm, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, and death are potential outcomes.

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