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Fire on dive boat Conception in CA

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by divezonescuba, Sep 2, 2019.

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  1. Brodydog

    Brodydog Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    Compressor likes this.
  2. Blasto

    Blasto Solo Diver

    Chemical smoke kills quickly. It's not so much a matter of coughing and slow CO poisoning as could happen in a wood-only fire, as it is waking up with your blood already filled with CN, CO and HCl instead of O2. That is by the time heat or particulate smoke, the noticeable effects of a fire, even reach the person.

    Sadly, smaller boats are exempt from most maritime safety regulations that keep larger ships at a tolerable level of safety.

    I'm not sure if it's good or bad, because the costs of building to commercial ABS+SOLAS rules would leave very few liveaboards operational. You'd have to limit the fire load, provide insulation, install suppression, restrict below-deck berthing, etc. It's not trivial. The design of most wood/fiberglass liveaboards isn't very safety-conscious, not just regarding fires, but all-around (stability, freeboard, equipment).
    Bob DBF and rjack321 like this.
  3. Kitty_Kat

    Kitty_Kat Marine Scientist

    Does anyone know more about the details of the ventilation systems onboard this type of board? (Where is the air input? Approximately how much air does it move in/out of the bunk area? etc.)

    If the fire started on the main deck, I'm wondering if there may have also been a fault in this system allowing smoke to flow that quickly into the bunk room through the ventilation system. However, this might be a moot point if the fire started in the bunk room...
    Kelp Boy likes this.
  4. george_austin

    george_austin Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Los Angeles,CA. Alcoi, Espana, Los Barilles, Baja
    I've seen a couple of those people on other boats. Thank you for posting the pictures
    eleniel, shoredivr and Lilespig like this.
  5. Diver2019

    Diver2019 Angel Fish

    I doubt you can 100% determine the cause of death from "unrecognizable" bodies and I believe that's reasonable.
    rjack321 likes this.
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member


    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    Has been mentioned many times up thread and in the legal thread concerning this tragedy.

    Please read the thread before posting.

    Yes, it is very long but reading back even a few pages may answer many questions and avoid reposting of known information.

    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    Posts about the lawsuit have been moved to Legal considerations for the Fire on dive boat Conception in CA please post there if you wish to discuss that issue.
    Tesibria, shoredivr, Jay and 2 others like this.
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I think it depends on the type of emergency and the ease of exit. My previously used example on the Nautilus Explorer, this would be easy to use in a slow sinking episode whereas it may be much more challenging in an emergency fire.
  8. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    Generally people are highly cooperative in emergencies. Typically the stereotypical 'panic' reactions don't appear until the situation has changed from a dangerous emergency to obvious imminent death if you don't get out NOW.
    Tesibria, eleniel and Steelyeyes like this.
  9. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
    You can pretty much get all the data you need to design a proper escape route from this document.
    ASTM F1166: Standard Practice for Human Engineering Design for Marine Systems, Equipment, and Facilities


    Or, you can also get a lot of useful information from Mil-STD-1472

    MIL-STD-1472 Rev. G - EverySpec

    Either document will give you enough information to see if you can fit a stairway or inclined ladder, rather than a vertical ladder.

    In the Mil-STD 1472G if you find Figure 80 it will give you a good idea of a steep Stair-ladder dimensions.

    The range (and recommended dimensions) of riser height, width, tread depth, etc. is all shown as part of that figure. You can also look at Figure 79 for low rise stairs and Figure 81 for vertical ladder data.
    shoredivr likes this.
  10. Tuttlet

    Tuttlet Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Vancouver
    If this is a general rule of thumb: "you don't put smoke detectors in galleys", is it time for a rethink of this rule? Or at least inverse connect the smoke detector with the range hood, no human interaction required.

    Galley Ventilation on during cooking == smoke detector disabled
    Galley Ventilation off == smoke detector active

    Seems like it should at least be present & active when the cabin/galley is unoccupied
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