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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. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
    We dive these boats. We have done the exact same dive trips on this exact ship. We and I have friends who may have been on this boat and I still dont know if they were on it as they are not replying back. Family members are reading this thread. This is more than close to home. Have a care posting here friend. We all know the dive op and we all did the same trips it could have been us. Easily. There was no malfeasance. It was a horrific accident. Do you have car accidents in your country?
  2. bubffm

    bubffm Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    For sure. Whoever thought it is "safe" to stow-away up to 40 tourists in such a confined space with just one steep escape ladder should probably think again.
    Mrs. B, shoredivr, Compressor and 2 others like this.
  3. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    I'm also guessing (@Wookie @markmud will know more) that an Engine room would have a firewall giving a certain time of fire resistance before it can spread outside of that area
    Compressor and Tricia like this.
  4. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi DD,

    Yeah, there was a solid bulkhead between the berthing area and the engine room. I would have to reference the CFR for the exact design criteria for that bulkhead.

    As a vessel operator, the design aspects were not critical, other than we could not alter water tight bulkheads without a naval architect's design and USCG approval; we had compartmentalization and that's all we were concerned with. Again, the exact criteria for compartmentalization for a 100 ton passenger carrying vessel is not top-of-mind now.

    I don't know if it needs to be a 30 minute fire rated bulkhead or not.

    Tricia and Diving Dubai like this.
  5. DebbyDiver

    DebbyDiver Livin' the dream ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Inland Empire, California
    Could be. I Googled the Wave Dancer tragedy of 2001, 20 souls lost. At the time I'm posting this, we don't know how many souls lost in this tragedy.
    The Wave Dancer Tragedy: Undercurrent 04/2005
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  6. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hey DD,

    How fast do you think an accidental fire on a vessel such as Conception can spread? Too fast for a person performing an anchor watch/fire watch to alert other crew members and passengers?

    This is the question that bothers me.

    Gdog, DebbyDiver, Tricia and 3 others like this.
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    Apparently, the call actually came in at 3:14 a.m.

    All of the crew up top would not have been awake.

    Cooking didn't start until around 5 a.m. (I disremember if 5 or 5:30). This info came from a report of telephone interview with retired owner. He also speculated that it was a battery.

    I know that many think that the emergency call to coast guard was made from Conception but my thinking is that it was made from the Grape Escape. I've determined this based on the coastie asking the caller if he could "return to the Conception and unlock the door" as well as, "you don't have any firefighting equipment. . ."

    If you're following me here, my thought process is that the fire was so quick that the upstairs crew had to bail before calling SOS and that the call was made from the other boat.

    Ken Kurtis' response on CNN was Captain was calling from Conception and on fire.

    Based only on the reported part of what we hear the coastie saying, it seems to me that the call was not made from the Conception.
  8. DiveFlyDive

    DiveFlyDive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Earth
    Yes I totally agree that it seems that the captain and crew were on the Grape Escape when making the mayday call, from the audio.

    Looking at the design of that boat I have to say I’m slightly horrified at how it was legal, evacuation wise. I’m sure the crew were great etc...but one exit and a over bunk hatch? And why did the coastguard radio operator say “can you return to unlock the door?” I wish we had the other side of the conversation.
    CZS, Tricia, Brodydog and 2 others like this.
  9. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    Even the fancier lobs that I've been on, only had a staircase at one end and a hatch at the other. Ergo, I don't find that unusual. That said, there have been far fewer guests aboard the lobs that I've been aboard.
    NYCNaiad likes this.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    The coast guard absolutely allows gas stoves on passenger vessels.
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