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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. Diver2019

    Diver2019 Angel Fish

    Distress calls, mourning and search for answers: How the California boat fire unfolded

    "3:15 a.m. A distress call is made to the Coast Guard. Authorities later said a call was made from the Conception and others from the Great Escape. In audio of a call on Broadcastify that authorities suggested may have been edited to combine multiple calls, only the Coast Guard dispatcher can be heard, not the responses.

    The dispatcher asks if passengers are trapped and if there's an escape hatch.

    3:30 a.m. The Coast Guard arrives on scene and begins to fight the fire.

    7:20 a.m. Conception sinks in 64 feet of water off the coast of Santa Cruz Island.

    9 a.m. At a press conference, the Coast Guard says that 34 people are unaccounted for and that shoreline searches on the island are underway. The department also says that the five crew members were asleep on the top deck while passengers were asleep below deck.

    11:15 a.m. The Coast Guard announces that four bodies have been found near the Conception."

    Sep 3

    "10:00 a.m. At a press conference, Sheriff Brown says no additional survivors have been found, adding that the victims ranged from age 17 to 60, with the majority being from the Bay Area.

    Brown indicated that one crew member had been asleep in the passenger's quarters and that the five surviving crew members would be formally interviewed by the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. He said there was no indication passengers got onto the deck and that it "appeared" the victims had most likely been trapped by fire."
  2. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    When my boat burned, it wasn't this boat (Conception). I was backing up the hidden wiring post.
    Tony66 likes this.
  3. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    No, the people on the Grape Escape said that when the crew on the incident vessel woke them the incident vessel was on fire from stem to stern. The first picture were from then, and it shows the boat totally in flames but still structurally intact. By the time it sank everything above the main deck seemed to have burned away or collapsed into the lower hull.
  4. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    Boat fires are overwhelmingly caused by electrical issues so this isn't just idle speculation
    Causes Of Boat Fires - BoatUS Magazine
    Seaweed Doc and DebbyDiver like this.
  5. bigDave

    bigDave Nassau Grouper

    The Conception had a wood hull covered with fiberglass.

    ‘Worst Case Scenario’ in Santa Cruz Island Boat Fire
  6. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    I mentioned this in passing in a previous reply, but let me be explicit:

    The fire need not have spread quickly if it took awhile to detect.

    If the anchor watch was in the wheelhouse, they couldn't see the deck. They certianly could not see inside the dining area.

    If there were no indication from fire/smoke detectors on the bridge, detectors going off might have not been heard (cool night so the wheelhouse door was closed? walkman?) - though in such a case I would have expected people below to hear the alarms coming from the dining area down the open staircase.

    I donno, our assumption of a quickly spreading fire may be incorrect. Time will tell.

    I think information about the smoke detectors (Bridge indicators? Working or not?) will be pivotal.

    oncor23, Esprise Me and DebbyDiver like this.
  7. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    Or the fire was smoldering and the detectors didn't go off at all (note the 55% failure rate for smoldering fires)

    until it eventually flashed over rapidly.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  8. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    Agree, but a) did they have scooters and can lights and b) would it set the entire boat on fire faster than anyone can run?

    Dr. Goo says a most common Tesla battery pack contains 7,104 18650 cells for 85kWh: an order of magnitude (edit: conservatively, it's really closer to two) over the 1.35kWh scooter battery. If you were to fast-charge them at 5V/1A, you'd need a 35kW genny onboard running for at least an hour. Those are size of a large man, not including the soundproofing etc., and weigh a metric ton.
  9. Dacuda

    Dacuda Garibaldi

    # of Dives:
    Location: Peoria Az
  10. Louisville Diver

    Louisville Diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Louisville
    I was on a night dive once and was looking directly at my buddy at the moment his old school Princeton Tec dive light flooded. For a brief second, that thing (only four lousy D cells) lit up like the sun. For some goofy reason, it came up resealed when we surfaced - we unscrewed it, the thing started spewing everywhere and the guts were mangled and black.
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