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Carbon monoxide poisoning kills two boaters on Lake of the Woods

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A medical examiner says carbon monoxide poisoning killed two boaters who were found dead on Lake of the Woods over the holiday weekend.

KARE-11 reports a preliminary investigation found a faulty exhaust system led to the deaths of two men from Champlin, Minnesota. A third man was hospitalized in Grand Forks.

KARE says authorities identified the victims as Lonnie Ray Norberg, 44, and Jeffrey Edward Wheeler, 35. Christopher Andrew Klick, 43, of Crystal was hospitalized.

The Grand Forks Herald reported sheriff's officials responded when the boat drifted to Birch Beach, which is north of Williams, about 11:30 Sunday night.

According to The Northern Light newspaper of Baudette, Klick told a resident the group had been at Garden Island and he remembered nothing after about 6:30 p.m. The Northern Light also reports the cover was off the boat's engine compartment and the boat was swamped with water and was listing to one side.

Carbon monoxide, which is odorless and colorless, is released in engine exhaust and can build up on boats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a page on the hazards of CO poisoning to boaters. The Centers recommend installing a CO detector to alert passengers when the gas builds up to hazardous levels.

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