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Teak/Drag Surfing Deadly, Coast Guard Warns
Odd new water 'sport' has now killed six 
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The U.S. Coast Guard advised this week that a sixth person had died from carbon monoxide poisoning suffered while taking part in a new boating activity known as "Teak/Drag Surfing." The Coast Guard stresses, “Teak/Drag Surfing” is a very dangerous activity and advises boaters and water sport enthusiasts not to participate in it.

In "Teak/Drag Surfing," a person hangs onto a watercraft's swim platform and allows themselves to be dragged through the water. As the vessel gains speed, and is producing a large enough wake, the person lets go of the swim platform and body surfs in the wake. The odd name of the potentially deadly activity comes from the wood often used to make swim platforms -- teak.

The most deadly danger of "Teak/Drag Surfing" is that it places the participants directly in the path of the vessel’s exhaust where they breathe in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

The danger does not stop there, according to Captain Scott Evans, Coast Guard Chief of Boating Safety. "The individuals are also in a position where a slight miscalculation may throw them into a spinning propeller," said Captain Evans, adding, "in order to 'Teak/Drag Surf' you cannot wear a life jacket, the two do not go together. So, all this is a recipe for tragedy."

Captain Evans stressed, “It is important that the public be aware of carbon monoxide’s dangers, be in a position to protect itself and be protected from carbon monoxide’s deadly grasp Therefore, public awareness and the media’s assistance remains valuable tools for helping us defeat this deadly enemy.”

Victims of carbon monoxide poisoning are usually not aware they are being exposed to the deadly gas and become impaired in ways that often lead to death. The Coast Guard warns that the best way for people to protect themselves from carbon monoxide is to avoid places where the gas may be present. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned.

Symptoms if carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and fainting. Even low levels of exposure can cause symptoms often confused with those of flu, food poisoning and other illnesses.

“I can not say it enough; Captain Evans noted, both on land and at sea, carbon monoxide is not to be tempted. That is why the Coast Guard stresses that you protect yourself and avoid activities such as “Teak/Drag Surfing” that directly expose you to carbon monoxide’s lethal tentacles.”

Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (Spanish Translation)
Learn the sources, symptoms and emergency treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning from the Environmental Protection Agency. This Web page could save your life

Victims of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning should:

GET FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY. Open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances and leave the house.

GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM and tell the physician you suspect CO poisoning. If CO poisoning has occurred, it can often be diagnosed by a blood test done soon after exposure.

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