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Pre LOB booking safety questions to ask

Discussion in 'Liveaboards and Charter Boats' started by Schwob, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    Due to recent tragedies (Conception, Red Sea Agressor 1 (Suzanna) and the pending booking of a Red Sea LOB trip I decided to try to get explicit up front confirmation on a few security questions. What advise might you have as to what else one could ask or do PRIOR to booking the trip (or in the process) to:
    - avoid ending up on a potential death trap.
    - effect (is it affect) more lasting and permanent industry wide change towards not only safety rules but actual and effective enforcement thereoff.
    My thinking is that maybe, if we as customers more demonstratively how we care upfront it may effect such change.

    So, these are my questions for now:

    Dear booking agent, please verify and confirm that:
    - the LOB Company has smoke detectors on all their ships and especially “mine“...
    - All those detectors are tested and confirmed to be working
    - How often they test and confirm AND HOW they actually test. NOTE: I think that pushing the button only verifies that the battery or power connection works. It does not actually test the function of the smoke detector. So, how do they test?
    - They have a non sleeping and alert and actually checking and observing 24h fire watch in place... and how they assure that is indeed so.
    - That their second (emergency exit) from „below“ exists and is functional and unobstructed at all times.
    - That when I get on the boat I will not just be told where it is during the safety briefing, I will get to walk (crawl...) it after the briefing.

    Not sure it would be productive to ask about their boat building and electrical standards and how they assure there will be no electrical, engine or kitchen fires... but that might be another question...

    Edit / Addendum: Post self reported to move to topic „LOBs & Charter Boats“
  2. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    I’d ask if each room and shared space like salon, etc., has a smoke detector. Also ask about fire extinguishers and firefighting tools such as hoses.I was on a liveaboard recently where each room had an extinguisher.

    Locations of lifejackets (usually ones in room as well as up on deck if you’re not in your room).

    Check the floor plans (often available on websites) and see layout of bunks relative to stairways and emergency hatches. Confirm where those hatches go.

    Don’t forget about navigational and communication safety at the bridge as well. Often times, these are mentioned on the website with the boat specifications.

    One of the liveaboards I was on recently confirmed they had 3 watches at night. They did a lot of overnight crossings so that made it “easier” to execute.

    While we are at it, ask about EPIRBs/PLBs they have, man overboard items, and what their SOPs are to ensure all divers are actually back on board after dives or how you confirm you aren’t actually diving and sitting out vs something being wrong and you don’t show up.
  3. michael-fisch

    michael-fisch Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Germany
    Wood burns well, unfortunately almost all Egyptian registered "Safari" boats are made locally using a wooden hull.
    Steel doesn't burn worth a damn and does a lot better with a minor reef strike, if it's really well made it'll have a double hull (2 layers of steel with a space between them). Hard to find in Egypt:(
    In any case a smoke alarm system, WIRED with backup battery, so that any sensor will set off ALL the alarm sirens on the boat switching all interior lights on and able to immediaty locate the alarming sensor from the bridge. Lots of water and wet foam fire extinguishers (dry powder is next to useless on a boat), big CO2 fire extinguishing system anywhere gasoline is stored. If cooking is done with butane/propane - automatic gas cutoff and CO2 extinguisher in the galley, wet foam can also be used as soon as the grease has cooled enough not to explode after contact with water. EPIRBs permanently mounted on every lifevest.
    B4 pulling the anchor, every guest and crewmember has to be physically accounted for.
    A 1st aid kit that meets the requirements of offshore vessels, including all the prescription drugs needed to treat several severely injured persons for at least 24hrs is also a good idea, the brits have experience making and outfitting these kits, which can be purchased by the master of any named vessel.

    Last, but not least, a mounted 20mm machine cannon or soviet equivilant with at least 500rds on a drum, if the boat is going to travel anywhere near the Sudan.:(:76feet:.


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