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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. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    For everyone to see where they slept, go to 2:30

    That's so sad to hear. I'm at a loss for words.
    Mrs. B and Tricia like this.
  2. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Then this may be what Ken Kurtis was referring to when he told CNN that the caller was on bridge and likely on fire.

    Sounds like the last word spoken by caller was FVCK:(
  3. Louisville Diver

    Louisville Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisville
    A1DF486B-64B1-4D7E-853B-06D0F4E56759.jpeg New to this board, but I've followed it for years. Here’s my thing - as divers, we need to stop bargain hunting and learn to expect and demand more - the rate charged by this aggregator was way too low, and that is the problem, because the industry responds to demand for thrift by cutting corners - INCLUDING SAFETY.

    When you charge a little more than $200 per day for room, food and dives, something slips.

    I see a lot of quotes in news articles and on this board about how safe things were and how great dives were. Was it really that safe? We all have spent thousands of dollars on equipment and training, so by and large, dives go on without much drama. That leaves the quality of transport and accommodations.

    I’ve seen the photos of the rat maze below. Leaving aside how crowded that dive deck would have been (on an Aussie liveaboard that was 25’ longer, 22 PAX on a 900 sq ft dive deck occasionally felt crowded), it looks like Truth Aquatics monetized cheap fares by cramming on more people. In fact, someone deep down in the thread talked about how there wasn’t room for everyone to eat.

    That crowding killed people. I managed to find a couple of photos on the net which demonstrate that they shoved revenue bunks under what appears to be an unmarked hatch - the only escape. The area should have remained clear, with a ladder in place and emergency lighting in evidence. I don’t know how this boat passed inspection without a lot of winks and nods from the inspecting officers - it sure as hell doesn’t look like it is in compliance with the SOLAS
    Convention. There are no markings on that hatch - and as an aside, as I’ve looked at other photos, where is the fire suppression equipment?

    This isn’t just about a tragedy for the victims and owners, this is about culpability - and quite possibly, some crimes.

    As a sporting community, we need to expect more from our providers - the boat and basic operations are supposed to be the safe point of the process. If that means that your $650 three night California liveaboard is now $1000 in order to rise up to an industry wide safety standard, then that is worth that price.
    Mrs. B, oncor23, morecowbells and 2 others like this.
  4. hammet

    hammet Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United States
    46 CFR § 177.500 - Means of escape.

    46 CFR § 177.500 - Means of escape.
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each space accessible to passengers or used by the crew on a regular basis, must have at least two means of escape, one of which must not be a watertight door.

    (b) The two required means of escape must be widely separated and, if possible, at opposite ends or sides of the space to minimize the possibility of one incident blocking both escapes.

    (c) Subject to the restrictions of this section, means of escape may include normal exits and emergency exits, passageways, stairways, ladders, deck scuttles, and windows.

    (d) The number and dimensions of the means of escape from each space must be sufficient for rapid evacuation in an emergency for the number of persons served. In determining the number of persons served, a space must be considered to contain at least the number of persons as follows:

    (1)Passenger overnight accommodation spaces: Designed capacity;

    (2)Accommodation spaces having fixed seating for passengers: Maximum seating capacity;

    (3) Public spaces, including spaces such as casinos, restaurants, club rooms, and cinemas, and public accommodation spaces as defined in § 175.400 of this subchapter, except overnight accommodation spaces: One person may be permitted for each 0.9 square meters (10 square feet) of deck area. In computing such deck area, the following areas must be excluded:

    (i) Areas for which the number of persons permitted is determined using the fixed seating criterion;

    (ii) Obstructions, including stairway and elevator enclosures, elevated stages, bars, and cashier stands, but not including slot machines, tables, or other room furnishings;

    (iii) Toilets and washrooms;

    (iv) Interior passageways less than 860 millimeters (34 inches) wide and passageways on open deck less than 710 millimeters (28 inches) wide;

    (v) Spaces necessary for handling lifesaving equipment, anchor handling equipment, or line handling gear, or in way of sail booms or running rigging; and

    (vi) Bow pulpits, swimming platforms, and areas that do not have a solid deck, such as netting on multi hull vessels;

    (4)Crew overnight accommodation spaces: Two-thirds designed capacity; and

    (5) Work spaces: Occupancy under normal operating conditions.

    (e) The dimensions of a means of escape must be such as to allow easy movement of persons when wearing life jackets. There must be no protrusions in means of escape that could cause injury, ensnare clothing, or damage life jackets.

    (f) The minimum clear opening of a door or passageway used as a means of escape must not be less than 810 millimeters (32 inches) in width, however, doors or passageways used solely by crew members must have a clear opening not less than 710 millimeters (28 inches). The sum of the width of all doors and passageways used as means of escape from a space must not be less than 8.4 millimeters (0.333 inches) multiplied by the number of passengers for which the space is designed.

    (g) A dead end passageway, or the equivalent, of more than 6.1 meters (20 feet) in length is prohibited.

    (h) Each door, hatch, or scuttle, used as a means of escape, must be capable of being opened by one person, from either side, in both light and dark conditions. The method of opening a means of escape must be obvious, rapid, and of adequate strength. Handles and securing devices must be permanently installed and not capable of being easily removed. A door, hatch or scuttle must open towards the expected direction of escape from the space served.

    (i) A means of escape which is not readily apparent to a person from both inside and outside the space must be adequately marked in accordance with § 185.606 of this chapter.

    (j) A ladder leading to a deck scuttle may not be used as a means of escape except:

    (1) On a vessel of not more than 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length, a vertical ladder and a deck scuttle may be used as not more than one of themeans of escape from passenger accommodation space; or

    (2) As not more than one of the means of escape from any crew accommodation space or work space.

    (k) Each ladder used as a means of escape must be mounted at least 180 millimeters (7 inches) from the nearest permanent object in back of the ladder. Rungs must be:

    (1) At least 405 millimeters (16 inches) in width; and

    (2) Not more than 305 millimeters (12 inches) apart, and uniformly spaced for the length of the ladder with at least 114 millimeters (4.5 inches) clearance above each rung.

    (l) When a deck scuttle serves as a means of escape, it must not be less than 455 millimeters (18 inches) in diameter and must be fitted with a quick acting release and a holdback device to hold the scuttle in an open position.

    (m) Footholds, handholds, ladders, and similar means provided to aid escape, must be suitable for use in emergency conditions, of rigid construction, and permanently fixed in position, unless they can be folded, yet brought into immediate service in an emergency.

    (n) On a vessel of not more than 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length, a window or windshield of sufficient size and proper accessibility may be used as one of the required means of escape from an enclosed space, provided it:

    (1) Does not lead directly overboard;

    (2) Can be opened or is designed to be kicked or pushed out; and

    (3) Is suitably marked.

    (o) Only one means of escape is required from a space where:

    (1) The space has a deck area less than 30 square meters (322 square feet);

    (2) There is no stove, heater, or other source of fire in the space;

    (3) The means of escape is located as far as possible from a machinery space or fuel tank; and

    (4) If an accommodation space, the single means of escape does not include a deck scuttle or a ladder.

    (p) Alternative means of escape from spaces may be provided if acceptable to the cognizant OCMI.

    [CGD 85-080, 61 FR 961, Jan. 10, 1996; 62 FR 64306, Dec. 5, 1997]
  5. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    This vessel is not subject to SOLAS. It is a national vessel with a coastwise endorsement. SOLAS only applied to international voyages over 12 passengers.
  6. Louisville Diver

    Louisville Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisville
    I counted only two fire extinguishers in that clip - one at the end of the buffet and one down in the head - nothing in sleeping quarters.

    And let me add - that boat is not well-maintained.
    CZS and DiveFlyDive like this.
  7. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    @Louisville Diver

    What is missing in the “ well maintained” department? And what do you have to compare it to - overseas liveaboards?

    I’ve been on Great Lakes day boats that were far from pretty but they were maintained and everything worked.
    DebbyDiver, eleniel and hammet like this.
  8. Louisville Diver

    Louisville Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisville
    Beaten up, ragged and threadbare. The heads are not being cleaned well because every surface is stained. The kitchen isn't being cleaned well, either.

    They're just going through the motions, and it shows.
    CZS and DiveFlyDive like this.
  9. markmud

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

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

    Now, a vessel such as the Conception is required to have two licensed captains, one is the captain and the other is the mate.

    Do you think upping that requirement to three licensed crew members is a logical next step? You would have one on duty mate or captain 24 hours per day while the vessel is u/w or has passengers aboard.

    Next, should the industry require mandatory egress drills within the first six hours of departure? Including donning a type 1 PFD. Including instruction on how to use a life raft or life float? How to use an EPIRB? A discussion on fire hazards?

    I am just asking as you seem to be thinking ahead in order to prevent another disaster.

    To iterate, I believe the vessel did have an egress route through the shower room that led up to the foredeck. The shower room is directly ahead of the berthing compartment.

    HKGuns likes this.
  10. Scuba-74

    Scuba-74 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
    I respectfully disagree. Basic safety must be strictly regulated, not governed by free market and bottom lines. Once safety standards are enforced by regulation, things like convenience, comfort, customer service, quality of food etc. could be left to markets. So yes, prices may (and likely will) increase if operators are forced to comply with stricter code, make expensive upgrades, and potentially reduce passenger capacity, but it must be driven by regulation, not by customers' stopping bargain hunting. There is nothing wrong with bargain hunting.

    EDIT: thanks for posting a picture of that hatch. It reinforced my assessment that it was a grossly inadequate means of egress.
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