Mt Pleasant, SC – Experts are warning boaters to be vigilant of carbon monoxide poisoning during the July 4th holiday.

“It creeps up on you because carbon monoxide in general is hard to detect,” said Christina Derinzo, a carbon monoxide education outreach coordinator.

If you can smell exhaust fumes, carbon monoxide is present, Derinzo said.

“They give you flu like symptoms if you’ve been exposed,” Derinzo added. “Headache, dizziness, fatigue. People when they’re exposed sometimes don’t realize they are.”

Confusion, nausea, irregular breathing, and disorientation are additional symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

People of all ages can be affected, but infants and children are the most vulnerable.

“Do an exhaust system check every year, so you don’t have leaks that can leak in the cabin. We also want you to have a carbon monoxide detector in the cabin to detect leaks,” Derinzo said.

Derinzo cautioned to watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning in the following circumstances:

Inadequately vented canvas enclosures

Exhaust gas that has become trapped in enclosed spaces

Blocked exhaust outlets

Exhaust from another vessel docked or anchored next to your boat

Accumulation around swim platforms or back decks