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Two Oacoma People Die in House Boat Accident

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Authorities are investigating the death of two people from Oacoma after they were found dead on their houseboat docked off of the Missouri River.

 Albert Hellman, 61, and Mary Hellman 63, of Oacoma, were found dead Tuesday morning along with their two dogs in a houseboat.

The boat where the Hellmen's were found was anchored at Dock 44 Marina near Snake Creek Recreational Area, about 15 miles away from Platte.
Although state and federal authorities are still investigating their deaths, the cause is suspected to be carbon monoxide poisoning, from C0 that built up in their boat.

Captain Kevin Sona said, "Any appliance is going to give off some carbon monoxide, but if you have a plugged up vent system or you're not venting it out properly, it will just build up."

Ventilation, according to Captain Kevin Sona, with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, is the number one way to prevent any gas build up.

 He also says that if gas appliances aren't checked regularly, they can leak...and unlike natural gas, it's odorless -but you will feel ill.

Some of the signs are nauseousness, headache, and dizziness...if you feel any of those get outside and get some fresh air,” said Sona.

 Another good way to ensure the C0 levels are safe in your houseboat, or house is to get a carbon monoxide reader.

“Preferably one on each level, 10 feet away from a bedroom so you can hear the alarm,” Sona said.

Helping you stay safe whether you're at home, or your home on the water.

Authorities also say if you believe you have a carbon monoxide leak, get out of your house and call 911.
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