Fire officials said carbon monoxide was the cause of death for both. The situation could have become much worse, but the bystander who called first responders gave vital information.
"They were given the information that his engines had been at idle for awhile," said Sgt. Josh Thompson with Jeffersonville Fire Department. "That was a huge clue for us that carbon monoxide was a possibility."
There are many precautions boaters should take prior to stepping foot onto a boat. One of those is to make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector if there is an enclosed cabin area.
"CO in a confined space is extremely dangerous, but it's actually dangerous anywhere," Jeffersonville Fire Chief Eric Hedrick said. "There's a lot of dangers in the river on the water, but there are also dangers that occur in your cabin."
The other clue that made rescuers almost positive carbon monoxide filled the area was the fact that the cat was also dead. This triggered the rescuers to make witnesses get out of the area immediately.
"Often times, the would-be helpers can succumb to the CO as well," Hedrick said.
Hedrick said the CO reading in the man's cabin was 700 parts per million. He said a typical reading will go off when it reaches around 35 parts per million.
Thompson noted some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, feeling drowsy or feeling lethargic. He said alcohol can enhance or mask these symptoms.