NMMA works to avoid CO crisis

ST. LOUIS – The National Marine Manufacturers Association has hired a crisis communications consultant to help the industry respond to carbon monoxide issues, NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in a speech at the UMMA/UMSA Partnership Conference in St. Louis this weekend.

Dammrich pointed out that Pennsylvania, Nevada and California have already passed legislation regarding CO emissions from boats, and more state regulations are likely coming soon.

More than 90 deaths and 375 poisonings have occurred as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide on boats, he said, and much of the media coverage that has resulted from recent incidences has reflected poorly on the industry.

“We as an industry have not yet pulled together on this issue,” said Dammrich in an interview after the speech. “We’re not handling it well.”

Our response as an industry has been disjointed and inconsistent, often putting the blame on the victim, he explained. If this continues, it not only will give the public the wrong message, it also may lead to further legislation, Dammrich suggested.

“Anytime anybody dies, it’s a tragedy,” he stated. “We need to empathize with the victim, and we need to train the industry to respond with key messages.”

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- Liz Walz

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