Deadly barbecue fumes kill camper

Red Shoot Campsite
Red Shoot Campsite

A MAN has died from carbon monoxide poisoning after he put a gas barbecue in his tent to keep warm.

Service manager Vincent Clare, of Bletchley, was found dead on Friday, July 15 at the Red Shoot Camping Park in Hampshire where the couple were enjoying a holiday in the New Forest.

His wife Alison was taken to hospital where she was considered to be seriously ill, but she was later discharged after treatment.

The couple were discovered by family members who had arrived at the site to visit.

Mr Clare, 50, is believed to have moved the barbecue into the tent to keep warm, moved it outside again before going to sleep, but was killed by carbon monoxide fumes lingering in the canvas.

Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and virtually impossible to detect without special monitoring devices.

A police spokesman confirmed the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

However, a post-mortem carried out has come back inconclusive meaning that more tests will have to be done in order to ascertain the cause of death.

Jacqui Oldfield, one of the owners of the campsite, said: “I was off the site and returned about 15 minutes after he’d been found. It was absolutely horrible.”

In the aftermath, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) issued an alert to campers this summer, warning them of the dangers of the poisonous gas.

A spokesman said: “In the excitement of a camping trip, and because of unfamiliar surroundings and ways of doing things, accidents can happen.

“The burning of all fossil fuels produces carbon monoxide.

“There have been deaths and serious injuries from CO poinsoning in both tents and caravans.

“People should never use stoves or disposable barbecues for either cooking or warmth in an enclosed space with poor ventilation.”

“Caravanners should have gas powered appliances serviced annually and should consider using an audible carbon monoxide alarm inside their caravan.”