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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. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
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    This thread has made me both remember, and appreciate, my recent trip on the Nautilus Explorer to the Revillagigedos. Up to 17 passengers are located in 9 cabins below deck. The other 8 passengers are on the wheelhouse deck. The main exit from below deck is a stairway at one end that exits onto the covered dive deck. The emergency hatch exit was at my end of the hall, accessed by a sturdy ladder, and exited into the dining room. Both exits and the alarms and emergency lighting were pointed out during the safety briefing. All passengers were required to retrieve their PFD, don it correctly and gather at the muster site on the dive deck. At least 3 passengers were required to put on their PFD again so that it was done properly. I did not necessarily appreciate this at the time.

    The crew held a fire fighting drill one afternoon that did not include the passengers. Other crew members helped 2 of the crew quickly don fire fighting attire and breathing apparatus. They then deployed hoses and other fire fighting equipment. This equipment was all stored in a closet on the dive deck adjacent to the stairway from below deck and the exit door from the salon. The exercise was timed. I asked one of the crew about the exercise and he simply said they perform the drill once each sail, just in case. I did not necessarily appreciate this at the time either.

    I have never paid very much attention to safety considerations when choosing a liveaboard, I believe that has changed now. I was already considering a return trip to the Revillagigedos on the Explorer, mostly because it was such a great trip with a fantastic crew. That return trip has now moved even further up my list. The fire on the Conception has scared the complacency, and other things, out of me
     
  2. NickB-LA

    NickB-LA Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 90064
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    There is no hatch to lock. It is an open stairway.
     
    Ravenware and Julie T like this.
  3. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
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    10,751
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    I've never been on a liveaboard, but frankly, those sleeping quarters scare the living beejezus out of me. I hope, but aren't certain, that if I were given a berth like that I'd take my sleeping bag (or my blanket and pillow) and lied down on deck.
     
  4. Louisville Diver

    Louisville Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisville
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    Nobody is talking about handholding while you dive, and if you want to live like you're in a grubby Amsterdam hostel when you dive, nobody is taking that away from you either. We are talking about pretty basic standards of safety involving you not drowning when your boat sinks and not burning to death when the whole thing goes up in a conflagration.

    As for insurance, I doubt that they've got any more than a $5 mil umbrella. This outfit is done; they may as well start their liquidation and personal bankruptcies now.
     
    CZS, Tricia and Joneill like this.
  5. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Fire at sea and sinking are always on every good sailor's mind. This thread may be helpful for everyone who is not a trained and experienced seaman: Diving and Seamanship
     
  6. USdiver1

    USdiver1 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southwest Ohio
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    The battery charging speculation is of great concern to me as well. Even the current Halon requirement for FAA extinguishers seems to be inadequate, according to this video.



    A fixed fire suppression system installed aboard; a clear and enforceable policy of where and what kind of rechargeable batteries are permitted on a vessel; clearly marked and accessible emergency exits from any hold, multiple handheld fire extinguishers on deck, fire drill given on all voyages, these are some of the policies that should be incorporated in all LOB dive operations.

    Such a tragedy, my heart goes out to all of those lost and affected by this event.
     
    DrMack and shoredivr like this.
  7. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    There are 4 single berths in the bow with a 2x2ft hatch above them (you would be hard pressed to get out of this as its overhead with no ladder)
    mid-ship galley powered by propane with 2 berths that are setup in the lounge if there are 6 guests on board
    charging station is mid-ship directly below the crew bunks above (there is a spiral staircase right here going up)
    skipper and mate sleep in the wheelhouse (up the 6 step staircase)
    the aft deck has benches and the compressor is under the port side bench
    its diesel powered and a steel hull
     
    shoredivr likes this.
  8. roman50

    roman50 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Prague
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    THIS. Imagine this. 34 people sleeping in the bunk. Empty galley with charging devices. Crew sleeping on the bridge. Opened windows everywhere - there was a heatwave and the sea was calm as seen from videos. One battery catching fire, the next, the next and all supported by light breeze through opened windows. Flammable surfaces all around. Huge fire before you know it and crew jumping from the bridge to the ocean. This.
     
  9. Cowtown44

    Cowtown44 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Vacaville, CA
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    My heartfelt sympathies go out to all involved in this tragedy.

    We were on this boat about two years ago.

    I would suggest investigators look at the dryer vent as a source if ignition.
     
  10. nycjOHN170

    nycjOHN170 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New York City or East Hampton
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    I was on that boat two weeks ago. There was a comprehensive safety talk prior and a cluster of fire extinguishers close to the sleeping quarters. Only around 8 people total. This couldn't have happened.

    ETA: Additionally, we were docked nightly and being old I needed to pee in the night. Egress was never impeded.
     
    Gdog, Tricia, chillyinCanada and 2 others like this.
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