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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. Brodydog

    Brodydog Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    470
    214
    43
  2. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    1,154
    523
    113
    I think we can trust the NTSB and the Coast Guard to find out all that can be found out. I hope they convene a joint Formal Board of Investigation, and would be surprised if they don't. The Coast Guard will both investigate, and be investigated, since this was an Inspected Vessel, with a Certificate of Inspection and built to CG-approved plans and regulations under "Subchapter T". So it may be that NTSB will take the "lead".

    I didn't realize there were wood-built liveaboards of that size out west. The ones I am used to from the Gulf of Mexico, were converted offshore crewboats, aluminum hulls. They too had the bunkroom beneath galley, with a stairway to galley, and a hatch which I don't recall if it also accessed the galley, or a separate compartment. Aluminum would of course be more likely to remain afloat even if it did burn out. So yes, some evidence may be lost or compromised.
     
    DebbyDiver, Compressor and Johnoly like this.
  3. Tony66

    Tony66 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Mid Atlantic
    25
    8
    3
    I don't post much just read to try to learn something. For me; the learning part in this horrible tragedy is the cause of the fire. My opinion is; as fast as this fire spread, over a large area, this has some appearance of an electrical fire, similar in how RV's burn to the ground in minutes.

    Speculation: an electrical short occurs in a wire/cable concealed inside a cavity (a wall as an example) with a limited amount of oxygen. Circuit breaker doesn't "trip" allowing the entire wire to heat up (similar to how a toaster element works) causing the construction materials to smolder. Once air (O2) gets to the smoldering materials, the entire area could combust all within a few seconds. What fueled this fire?

    I have no idea if they were running on AC generator power or battery/inverter power. I have no idea of the construction of this boat's structure but kind of looks like a wood skeleton with fiberglass inner and outer skin. Was the boat air or hydraulic controlled from the wheel house? Location of electrical cable, air lines, hydraulic lines? What I feel I do have a grasp on, is this fire went from passive to very active and in a very short period of time covering a relatively large area, almost like a flash over but they don't generally happen in open/ventilated area's.

    Like everyone else just pure speculation but some food for thought.

    Thoughts a prayers to all friends, families and responders of those lost.
     
    sunnyboy likes this.
  4. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    2,889
    1,383
    113
    The victims were at the bottom of the bowl into which fire fighters were spraying hundreds of gallons a minute for hours so [cutting some ugly stuff..] I'd expect the autopsies will show the vast majority were killed by smoke, fire damage was after they were dead. Supposedly the fire smoke from burning GRP (fiberglass) is really toxic.
     
  5. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    22,910
    31,324
    113
    Has nothing to do with this fire, but that's exactly how my liveaboard burned in 2005. Old breakers, ballast burned up and shorted, breaker didn't trip. Burned an adjacent 12 volt circuit and then things really got exciting.
     
    Esprise Me, sunnyboy and rjack321 like this.
  6. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    33,226
    25,729
    113
    There is a great deal we do not know yet.

    As autopsies are completed, and the investigation continues we, hopefully, will begin to get a clearer picture of both the cause(es?), and what happened to the divers themselves, that ultimately lead to their deaths.
    I am only adding thoughts that come to me, reading the ongoing dialog, the occasional facts that are released, and the voluminous speculation being presented in this thread.
     
  7. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,186
    5,766
    113
  8. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    2,889
    1,383
    113
    There was a comment by someone familiar with the boat that "the generator always runs". Someone else familiar with the boat suggested an issue with the boat batteries. The prevailing theory here seems to be a Lithium Ion battery fire in the main cabin.

    The investigation will have to determine that. Along with how it spread so fast. I've seen heard several people talking first hand about how fast boats can burn, so this may just be how fiberglass burns once you get it going.

    An old new article said it had a steel hull. The hull shortly before it sank looked like it had suffered extensive damage from the fire - and steel needs to get really hot to melt - so maybe it was fiberglass or aluminum.
     
  9. Scuba-74

    Scuba-74 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
    488
    307
    63
    Do ANY of them show how fast the fire has spread?
     
  10. Tony66

    Tony66 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Mid Atlantic
    25
    8
    3
    Why do you say "Has nothing to do with this fire" Have I missed something regarding the cause?
     
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