by Rob Malcolm


SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — A Fourth of July weekend on the water ended in tragedy for a father and daughter who were on their houseboat to watch fireworks on Discovery Bay.

The bodies of 57-year-old John LeBarre and his 27-year-old daughter Danielle LeBarre, both of Discovery Bay, were discovered Friday shortly after 4 a.m. in the lower cabin of the houseboat anchored near Ski Beach in the San Joaquin Delta. Authorities believe the succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Boaters in the tight-knit community of Discovery Bay say it’s heartbreaking news and could have been prevented.

“People don’t know that it kills number one and for two that it’s so easily prevented,” said Eric Franzen, who has lived in the Bay for 25 years.

The woman who made the grim discovery was Dannelle Kent. She said she was sleeping upstairs and smelled fumes.

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“I went downstairs and found them,” Kent said.

Coast Guard and firefighters arrived on scene an hour and a half after she made the call to 911.

“As soon as they arrived their carbon monoxide detectors were going off, they put their masks on and immediately took me away into an ambulance to be treated for mild symptoms,” Kent said.

Kent was pleading for her loved ones to be saved but it was too late. The family was boating in an older model 1972 Nautaline Houseboat that Kent said did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

Marcelo Vararela, who owns two boats in Discovery Bay, said detectors are an easy fix and could be purchased at any hardware store for a minimal cost.  He called the accident a wakeup call.

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“I think it’s time for everybody to check their boats, and if it’s an older boat that doesn’t come equipped with it automatically, it’s time to think about this,” Vararela said.

The San Joaquin County Sheriffs Department advises that all boats with enclosed cabin areas should have carbon monoxide detectors. A spokesperson said boats should be checked regularly for leaks in the exhaust system and clean fresh air should always be flowing.

“These boats will sit for several months in the winter and not get the treatment they need and then they’ll take them out and for a trial run or go anchor somewhere and that’s where your carbon monoxide dangers occur,” the spokesperson said.

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