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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | BRIEFS

California first state to ban teak surfing

September 21, 2004|Gary Polakovic

The new ban on "teak surfing" in California will save lives, says Mike Farr of El Dorado Hills, whose son died from exhaust fumes while boating last year.

"People who boat are unaware of the carbon monoxide coming out of these ski boats," Farr says.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill Friday. It prohibits operators from running a boat while a rider hangs from the stern swim platform or ladder. New boats sold in California must display a carbon monoxide sticker, the Department of Motor Vehicles must include warnings in registration material, and boat builders are urged to clean up motors. California is the first state to ban teak surfing, says Monita Fontaine of the National Marine Manufacturers Assn.

"Teak surfing is a terrible fad. This is not something people are supposed to do," she says.

So far, officials say 111 boaters have drowned nationwide after exposure to carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas.

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Gary Polakovic

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