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Report into Windermere deaths.

A MOTHER and her 10-year-old daughter died after being poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes as they slept on a moored motor cruiser on Lake Windermere, initial findings of a marine accident investigation indicate.

Exhaust fumes from a generator, whose improvised exhaust and silencer system had become detached, had spread into the cabin where Kelly Webster, 36, and daughter Laura Thornton, on an Easter boating holiday, were asleep.

"The boat's carbon monoxide sensor system did not alarm because it was not connected to a power supply," said an interim report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB). The incident was on the Bayliner 285 motor cruiser Arniston on April 1 - Easter Monday - this year.

Ms Webster and Laura, both from Leyland in Lancashire, were on board with the vessel's owner Matthew Eteson, 39, who was Ms Webster's partner.

The MAIB's report, in the form of a safety bulletin, said: "A bank holiday weekend on board an 11-year-old Bayliner 285 motor cruiser ended tragically when a mother and her 10-year-old daughter died. Initial findings indicate the deceased were poisoned by carbon monoxide."

The bulletin went on: "A 'suitcase' type portable, petrol-driven generator had been installed in the motor cruiser's engine bay to supply the boat with 240v power.

"The generator had been fitted with an improvised exhaust and silencer system which had become 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 spread through gaps in an internal bulkhead into the aft cabin where the mother and daughter were asleep."

The bulletin added that the correct positioning and the regular testing of any carbon monoxide sensors was essential. A full MAIB report into the incident will follow later.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 24, 2013
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