Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Dangers of Teak Surfing
From the USCG Office of Boating Safety

The Coast Guard noted that carbon monoxide has found a new venue to ply its silent but deadly means: "Teak Surfing." This is a new and dangerous boating fad that involves an individual holding on to the teak swim platform of a vessel while a wake builds up then lets go to body surf the wave created by the boat; hence the term- "Teak Surfing."

Captain Scott Evans, Chief of the Office of Boating Safety, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, pointed out, "Because of the multiple dangers associated with "teak surfing" and the carbon monoxide problem in particular, the Coast Guard issued this alert that strongly advises the public not to engage in "Teak Surfing" and warns that "Teak Surfing" may cause carbon monoxide poisoning and even fatalities."

"Besides carbon monoxide poisoning," Evans emphasized, "two other dangerous factors are associated with 'teak surfing.' It exposes an individual unnecessarily and dangerously to a boat's propeller, and this is compounded by the failure to wear a lifejacket."

"'Teak Surfing' requires that an individual hold on to the swim platform of a vessel that is underway while it builds up a wake on which he or she can body surf," explained Evans. "This puts that individual directly in the path of the vessel's exhaust and poisonous external carbon monoxide. If that in itself is not dangerous enough, the individual is now in a position that a slight miscalculation may throw him or her into a whirling propeller. Still ... it doesn't stop there. In order to 'Teak Surf' you don't wear a life jacket, the two do not go together. As is easily seen, all this is a recipe for a tragedy. A tragedy that the Coast Guard wants to see averted; that is why we are issuing this warning."

For more information, visit the USCG Office of Boating Safety.

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