When 16-year-old Raven Little-White died during an evening on a boat, the medical examiner assumed it was a drowning. However, the toxicology reports confirmed that it was boat carbon monoxide poisoning that she succumbed to, according to WTXL. She was sitting on the back of the boat when she slipped into the water. Another passenger that was on the back of the boat felt woozy and moved towards the cockpit area. Without knowing it, Raven was in great danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, and now people are working to raise awareness of this danger.

The more dangerous kind of boat in terms of risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is an inboard ski boat. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur on an outboard board, but the risk is higher with inboard ski boats. These kind of boats have the motors under the boat. The carbon monoxide fumes can come up through the swimming platform especially when idling or traveling at slow speeds. In Raven’s poisoning, they were traveling at only 10 miles per hour. On the outboard boats, the motor is on the back of the boat, further away from passengers. This specific kind of boat (inboard) is more dangerous in terms of carbon monoxide poisoning than an outboard motor, but also there is a part of the boat that is more dangerous: the back.

The back of the boat, where Raven and her friend who felt woozy were sitting, is known as the “kill zone.” Many people think that this is because of the potential of the propeller to injure passengers, but carbon monoxide poisoning is also a great danger. When her friend felt woozy, her friends helped her to another area of the boat, knowing something was wrong. At that time, Raven slipped off the back of the boat, where the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning was higher. The boat was only traveling at 10 miles per hour, preventing the fumes from dissipating quickly into the air. The back of the boat is where the fumes will be more intense.

One of the ways of dealing with a senseless tragedy like this is trying to prevent it from happening in the future. Although this won’t bring Raven back, it is a healthy way of dealing with the unfortunate event. The police said that they tell people about the dangers of sitting on the back of the boat. When they see people doing it, they stop to talk to them about it, just to educate them and make sure they know the dangers. Many people don’t. In addition, the lesson about avoiding the back of the boat while it is in operation in the boater safety curriculum is now dubbed “Raven’s Rule.” This is part of the legacy of the popular, caring girl who lost her life in an accident on Lake Waccamaw. Raven was well-liked and was active in sports and her church youth group at the time of her death.

The kids that were on the boat at the time of the accident ranged in ages from 11 to 17. The kids were not drinking. They were just having fun, but they made a mistake. They didn’t know the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning on boats. They were acting responsibly to the best of their knowledge. Unfortunately, it was just lack of awareness that caused them to make the mistake. Hopefully, raising awareness about boating safely and Raven’s story will help to prevent tragedies like this in the future.

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  1. […] is the most dangerous part where people can be overcome by fumes. This case is eerily similar to the case of Raven Little-White, who died from a boat carbon monoxide poisoning. The back of the boat, where she was poisoned, is […]

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