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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. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!

    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    The thread is again open... Please be kind in all you write.

    Be kind to each other. We're all dealing with some horrible news and are mourning in our own ways. All of us are just as emotionally compromised as you are.

    Be kind to the crew. You have no idea what they are going through right now. Emotions, including recriminations and survivors' guilt are incredibly hard to deal with. They need our support, not our condemnation.

    Be kind to the mods. We are dedicated to keeping things open and civil. Those lost were our brothers and sisters: a part of our community. In that vein, please consider limiting your posting. Saying the same thing over and over or making wild accusations not supported by any evidence are counter productive. If you have a vituperative post directed at anyone, sleep on it over night and then erase it in the morning. We just don't need it.

    About the victims. Their names are coming out now and we want to caution you about releasing them too early. We do not want to be how a loved one learns of their death. So, if the family or some official releases their name, feel free to repeat it. Links to newspaper sources are fine and so fourth. Just be kind in how you discuss them.
  2. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    We need to rally behind the owner & crew. It is a terrible accident no one was capable of foreseeing. This is a life changing event for many people and I am sure the crew did the best they could in such a dire situation. No one can say they would of done anything different as they were not there and were not confronted with what the crew were. I hope that this tragedy will make sea travel safer for all and will not be in vain!
  3. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    It appears the fire started before anyone would have started cooking but if there was any grease being stored in the kitchen area and caught fire, it could help explain how quickly the fire spread. If they were cooking for close to 40 people, there’s going to be a lot of grease, even if it was only after a few days.
  4. ijdod

    ijdod Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
    So far a theory has been a huge fire in the salon, blocking escape from both exits. What if a fire started below deck, in the sleeping quarters? That could potentially have the effect of both incapacitating those below deck very quickly, and could also mean that by the time the fire reached the salon, it was essentially already out of control and at flashover point. It could explain why the crew was surprised by the fire (in the sense that they were in the pilothouse, and had to jump from there)
  5. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    I don't agree with one point.

    I think we should not assume negligence and not draw incorrect conclusions about the fact that the crew survived (except one) and the passengers didn't. We don't know the cause yet, so how can someone conclude that it was unforeseeable? There could have been some significant maintenance issue or practice on that day which contributed, if not caused the accident. I don't see how anyone can draw any conclusion yet.

    It might sound suspicious that the crew escaped while none of the passengers did, but they were sleeping in different areas.
    SapphireMind, nicbec, markmud and 2 others like this.
  6. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami
    I thought about that. There were 34 people in those bunks; unless they were all incapacitated within seconds I would have expected someone to get out either one of the exits and raise the alarm.
  7. ijdod

    ijdod Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
    Wouldn't that apply to a good degree a fire upstairs as well, given that it's just an open staircase?

    It would very much depend on the sort of fire. In house fires, a good number of victims never woke up before the smoke got them.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  8. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    Upon reflection there's a third option:

    #3 is a distrinct possiblity... On my last trip in 2000 I was on the bridge a couple of times and my memory is hazy AND I wasn't in the captain's chair (enough qualifications?), but I think that if you're sitting down you'd have a great view of the sea but no view of the deck below. The person on watch could have been sitting down and therefore unaware of the growing glow from the main deck until it started generating significant light (in which case the fire would have time to grow more slowly than we've been assuming). I'm sure the fire sensors in the engine compartment have indicators on the bridge, but I wonder about the sensors in the dining room and bunk area?

    Note than in case #3 the solution to the entire problem is relatively easy: The person on watch must position themselves in such a way that they can monitor the environment around the exits from the lower deck - in other words they must remain on the main deck for the vast majority of time they're on watch. And if ships don't have them, all fire sensors must have bridge indicators (both visual and audible). This creates redundancy: If the person on watch misses something, the audible indicator on the bridge will wake someone up.

    Not saying #3 is what happened, but it does show how knowing what the actual problem is brings you a solution other than focusing your efforts on the emergency exit.

    DebbyDiver and Esprise Me like this.
  9. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    4 souls were recovered that had injury consistent with drowning early on, it is possible that they did escape the berthing area but by the time the got out and off the boat into the water they were incapacitated enough by smoke etc they succumbed.
    Mrs. B and Bob DBF like this.
  10. lexvil

    lexvil Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    A point that most here seem to want to ignore, Ive also brought it up a few times...
    Gdog and Fishyhead like this.
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