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Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by Ken Kurtis, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi @Ken Kurtis

    So, operators can have an equally good reputation, regardless of their practices, until they have a problem, that makes their errors in practice glaringly obvious. This applies to Truth Aquatics following the Conception, and to the Aggressor Fleet, following the Red Sea Aggressor I.

    The difference now, is that many of us will be paying much more attention to safely issues, and asking important questions. I took a Nautilus boat to the Revillagigedos at the end of May, 2019. I was impressed with the attention to safety, but did not fully appreciate it until 3 months later, for the Conception, and 5 months later, for the Red Sea Aggressor I.

    I am encouraging reviewers of liveaboards, both publications and individuals, to use a safety checklist in their reviews. Perhaps this will help us recognize poor practices, before a tragedy makes it obvious to all.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  2. BackAfter30

    BackAfter30 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver
    This is exactly how it is supposed to work. You could have 1000 15A receptacles on a 15A circuit and you are still fine. The problem happens when: the electrical system is mis-designed from the start, today not really an issue; poor workmanship when building a properly designed system, buy from quality producers; a system modified by someone who doesn't have any business modifying the electrical system because they don't understand electricity, THIS is the big problem. There is zero excuse for ever putting in a larger circuit protection device than belongs there. Anyone who doesn't understand this is just the sort of person who has no business touching the electrical system.
    Bob DBF likes this.
  3. Ayisha

    Ayisha DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    For me personally, I'm not sure that my impression of Aggressor overall has suffered greatly, since the Red Sea Aggressor 1 was franchised. I understand that Aggressor put their name on it. I suspect they have been and will be very diligent in ensuring safety and quality control in their franchisees since then. Perhaps too little, too late for many.

    I was on the Belize Aggressor III in April 2019, and found them to be extremely safety conscious, especially regarding fire. All dive electronics had to be charged at the charging station on deck. We were allowed to charge no more than a phone in our cabin, and only while we were in there. They warned that if electronics were found charging in the cabins while we were out, we would get one warning and then the electronics would be confiscated if found charging again. The captain told us how the coverings throughout were fire resistant.
    I saw the night watchman walking around every night until I went to bed between 1 and 3 AM and he made my buddy a coffee at about 4 - 4:30 AM, when she was up and out for the day.

    Contrast this with all other liveaboards I went on where we charged in our bunks/cabins below deck, and we never saw a night watch. I'm an extreme night owl, and my buddies are up shortly after I go to bed, and we were quite sure between us that we never saw a night watch. Thank God for passengers being up at all hours or even sleeping under the stars.

    The only Catalina liveaboard that I ever went on was the very old looking Bottom Scratcher in 2007 with my LDS and with @Sam Miller III's son, and Dr Sam 4 used to work on it decades prior. I had no experience with Truth Aquatics, so I have little else to base a decision on other than this tragic loss of life.

    I will be doing more research and asking more questions of all liveaboards, that's for sure.
    Sam Miller III and drrich2 like this.
  4. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    If you have a mass casualty event the odds are that something went wrong with your operation, and it went wrong a long time ago. People don't just come into NASA one day and announce "I think we should ignore all the regulations about foam and damage to the space shuttle tile system we've religiously followed for the last twenty years because it's all ********. Are you all with me?"

    It's generally a long process where people push the edges of acceptability until you are far past the point where a dispassionate expert would say "This is NOT safe." But the people involved are not dispassionate.

    So from the outside things may seem fine because everyone on the inside thinks things are fine and dispassionate experts rarely get involved when everything seems fine. This is why safety culture is critical, which says you do not take shortcuts, you do things methodically and by the checklist/manual.
    Rooster59 and chillyinCanada like this.
  5. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi @Ayisha

    I appreciate your opinion. I spent 2 weeks on the Red Sea Aggressor I in 2016. The boat was audited by the Aggressor VP of Operations, Larry Speaker, during the second week. It seemed like a safe boat to me.

    I have also gone on the Okeanos Aggressor II to Cocos, the Galapagos Aggresseor III, and the Cayman Aggressor V. They all seemed to be safe boats.

    Two months after the Conception tragedy, the Red Sea Aggressor i caught fire and sunk, with one passenger losing her life. I don't think this reflects well on the Aggressor Fleet, despite my previous good experiences. Unfortunately, we will not learn from this episode, as essentially no information is available.
    drrich2 and chillyinCanada like this.
  6. Ken Kurtis

    Ken Kurtis Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Beverly Hills, CA
    I read some of the survivor statements from the RS1 accident. (It may have even been here on SB.) They stated that because the Conception fire was so fresh in everyone's minds, they had not only discussed it, but specifically asked about a overnight watchperson and were assured that there would be one every night. Yet when the fire broke out, there was no watchperson on duty. The entire crew was asleep. So it really goes back to the points that have been made here as well as made during the NTSB hearing that a lot of what we rely on for safety is human-dependent and therefore is only as effective/strong/safe as the humans we rely on to implement those safety protocols.
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    So, roving night watchman is pivotal in our safety. How do we document the activities of a night watchman? I don't think it is that difficult in modern times, an electronic record of the watchman's route. Come on now, this is simple.
    Sam Miller III and Brett Hatch like this.
  8. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Miami
    I referred earlier to issues on the Socorro Aggressor as well:

    Socorro Aggressor?

    My Week on The Socorro Aggressor

    In the aftermath of Conception and RSA I, the boat's entire electrical system short-circuiting seems like a massive NOPE.
  9. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Ah, well, the IMO has come up with a method to do just this. All licensed mariners were required at one point to possess a TWIC card, a Transportation Workers Identification Credential. That card is issued by TSA, after completing a background check and security clearance. I have one, every licensed mariner has one. They cost the mariner $135 every 5 years. Readers are made for these TWICs, they are a chip encoded card, just like a chip credit card. The reader may be at the facility gate, it may be at the entrance to the engineroom, it may be at the gangway to the ship, it may be at the turnstile between the parking lot and the pier. It just depends on where in the IMO you fall where security is required. On SOLAS vessels, there is a TWIC reader on the door to the wheelhouse and the door to the engineering spaces.

    At one time, not long after 9/11, all US passenger boats were going to have TWIC readers installed. Then the lobbying firms got involved, and now the only place a TWIC card is required in getting into a port where foreign-flagged ships dock.

    But, the system is there and available for a watchman to insert his TWIC card every time (s)he makes rounds and a record is kept of what spaces were checked.

    But it costs money.
    Ayisha likes this.
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    You can set up something similar using a Raspberry Pi for cheap. A baton with a magnet in the end and bunch of magnetic switches wherever they need to check.

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