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Fire on dive boat Conception in CA

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

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  1. tehach

    tehach Registered

    In the interview with the eyewitness captain of The Grape Escape, he said (as reported in the NYT and other sources) holes were visible in the hull through which flames could be seen - when he initially observed the Conception:

    NYT Quote: "The desperation became clear to Mr. Hansen when he stepped outside his cabin and saw the glow of the raging fire in the dark. In an interview, he said that he had seen the Conception completely engulfed in flames, “from stem to stern.”

    “I could see the fire coming through holes on the side of the boat,” he said. /end NYT quote

    In my non-professional observation, the scenario of a berthing-level origin has merit.
    Gdog and PDX Diver like this.
  2. Texas Torpedo

    Texas Torpedo Pollo Grande Tejano! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: College Station, Texas
    Incorrect.. Li-Po's are more volatile. Li-Ion is canned and harder to anger.

    Not sure if you read my previous posts about lithium chemistry and these bags... It's one of the reasons I asked the question, "Were there Scooters on-board" (real DPV with lithium batts) on this trip. I also touched on can lights, because I know for a fact, many of them also have real Li-Po batteries in them.. NOT Li-Ion. IF it is not cyndrillical, it is not Li-Ion. If it looks like a sandwich, and is marked lithium, chances are it is Li-Po. Doesn't matter the brand (usually) outside of life / endurance.

    Li-Ions are much safer... "IMO"... I've never had a Li-Ion pack turn into a flamethrower. I would be absolutely shocked if this fire was due to Li-Ion batteries. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were Li-Po related. Just GTS "lipo fire". Sure, Li-Ion can burn, but I've never seen one that burns anywhere close to a Li-Po.
    CZS and Bad Scooter like this.
  3. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    You would have to read their COI to find the passage that goes something like “when away from a shore-side facility for more than 12 hours, the crew must be increased by”. And then a check box for a mate, or a mate and a deckhand, depending on the vessel.
    markmud, bigDave and rjack321 like this.
  4. NickB-LA

    NickB-LA Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 90064
    Sure, it has merit. But from that observation, there's no way to pin down a point of origin. If the entire ship was engulfed "from stem to stern" when he first saw it then we also have to factor in that if the crew was actually able to walk across the sundeck and jump to the dive deck before finally realizing the futility they faced. A great deal of destruction had to take place between when they did that and then took the dinghy over to the rescue boat. With a fire of that rapid destruction, I don't think a civilian making an observation under duress in the fog of the early morning is really a great source for what is the point of origin.
  5. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    This is simply not true at least in T-boat regs, as the watchman may also be the navigational watch, and the navigational watch may certainly not roam. But I’ll look for the applicable passage.

    Edit-see section (f).
    46 CFR § 15.705 - Watches.

    Edit to the edit. Section (a) is actually the relevant section, which states in part that safe Manning is detirmined for each vessel and placed on the vessels COI as described above.
    bowlofpetunias and Luis H like this.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    The escape hatch is (educated guess) 6' from the rear bulkhead, which puts it inside the the lounge / galley compartment, and as I remember the overhead is extended over the back deck a bit, which means you are not actually out of the compartment for say 9' after you are out of the hatch (although technically you might be). It's been a while and I didn't bring a tape measure.

    Look back to the earlier pictures, the advanced stage of burning you show is the final burn down to the waterline after all the superstructure was gone. If it had started there, you would see the burn through, but you would also see the superstructure burning as the lounge / galley deck would have slowed the destruction of the upper deck. And considering the heat generated by your scenario, there would be nothing left of the compartment and its contents.

    Which could have easily meant the lounge / galley area windows.

    infieldg and NickB-LA like this.
  7. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    To confuse the "Lithium battery" thing even more, there are the non-rechargeable lithium batteries (energizer ultimate photo lithium) that do have a strip of actual lithium in them. They are super contained in a metal can. These are the ones you see on youtube for "recovery of lithium metal from batteries".

    There is also LiFePO (or close that that) generically called "Lithium Iron" batteries. These are found as starting batteries in some Motorcycles now and retrofitted to more as they weigh nothing compared to the lead acid they replace. They have good surge capacity when warm for starting a bike but weak reserve capacity (if the charging system fails a lead acid will get you a lot further). I had one once and it was a drop in replacement, no charging system modifications.

    A couple years ago PBS NOVA had a really good episode on batteries. If someone wants to look this up and go off on that tangent, please start a new thread instead of making this one even messier. There is enough in that one show for it's own thread. For the most part they were showing a lot of future stuff.
    Texas Torpedo, Luis H and shoredivr like this.
  8. george_austin

    george_austin Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Los Angeles,CA. Alcoi, Espana, Los Barilles, Baja
    I want to read the 0000 - 0400 watchstander's report. Key evidence is at what time did she or he make their last walkaround before the fire.
  9. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    The first few pictures were taken from the Grape Escape sometime after the crew was pulled aboard. The ones I can find prior to someone putting water on the boat show it very badly burned, with the superstructure collapsed and holes in the side. (see below) There are no timestamps on any of these, so I don't know it it was at 3:20 or 3:30am or even later.

  10. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    I sort of doubt anyone will, as it probably burned up.
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