Law requires carbon monoxide detectors on boats

Published 10:36 am Friday, June 17, 2016

ST. PAUL — A new state law will require thousands of Minnesota boaters to install carbon monoxide detectors in their watercrafts.

The Star Tribune reports that the legislation, called Sophia’s Law, is named after 7-year-old Sophia Baechler, who died last October of carbon monoxide poisoning when the gas leaked from a hole in a boat’s exhaust pipe on Lake Minnetonka.

The bill passed in April after the Edina girl’s family came up with the idea, lobbied for it and testified about her death.

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The law mandates that any motorboat with sleeping area, galleys and other “enclosed accommodation areas” must have a hard-wired, marine-certified carbon monoxide detector by May 1, 2017.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates that about 8,000 boats will need carbon monoxide detectors under the new law.