Horrific Boat Fire

Johali

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Fire is the worst thing imaginable that could happen on any vessel. Peace be with them.
 

BobbyFord

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I’ve been watching this unfold as soon as it was reported.
I knew it was bad when initial reports said 20-some people were missing.
 

Johali

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I struggle to comprehend a closed space with no emergency hatch or anything

Or onboard automatic fire suppression

Or onboard fire alarms
I think that It had to be an explosion of some kind that immediately engulfed the entire vessel. The crew members that were awake on the bridge were required to be there and it seems that they were caught off guard. There has to be escape hatches with no outside locks at every block off point on the boat including the entry door. On board fire suppression is usually below in the maintenance/engine compartments of larger vessels because that's where most of them start. If they had one then an explosion would be the reason that it didn't work . There are fire/smoke alarms required that are extremely loud and consistent until shut off. Another reason that it could of been an explosion.
 

Magnethead

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That's the only thing that makes a lick of sense, really. Those boats are usually diesel powered, which is generally vaporless. I know one article said there was propane onboard for cooking. Would think there would be Carbon Monoxide detectors present if there were smoke/fire alarms, but I'm not sure that CO detectors will alarm for Propane?
 

BobbyFord

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There’s 911 audio on one of the news websites, I don’t recall anyone saying anything about an explosion. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I didn’t see any debris in the water that would’ve been expected had an explosion occurred.
 

Johali

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That's the only thing that makes a lick of sense, really. Those boats are usually diesel powered, which is generally vaporless. I know one article said there was propane onboard for cooking. Would think there would be Carbon Monoxide detectors present if there were smoke/fire alarms, but I'm not sure that CO detectors will alarm for Propane?
No it wont. An LP gas detector is required if there is any on board. LP gas is heavier than air so the detectors have to be near the deck and on the lower levels.
 

Johali

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There’s 911 audio on one of the news websites, I don’t recall anyone saying anything about an explosion. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I didn’t see any debris in the water that would’ve been expected had an explosion occurred.
Hopefully they'll figure it out once the crew has been questioned fully and the hull is brought to the surface, warehoused and examined. Everyone will want to know exactly what happened, family, friends, insurance companies and especially the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, the NTSB and other agencies.
 

LewTheShoe

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Apparently not an explosion, per that article. Also, it clarified that the crew's quarters were on the upper deck, near the bridge. I don't know if a vessel like that, stationary overnight at anchor, would be required to have a crew member awake on watch overnight... @Johali?

This is a terrible tragedy that hits slightly close to home for me. I've spent time on various dive boats, and used to date a young lady who was a cook on a dive boat working the California Channel Islands... the exact same location as this horrific accident.
There is no evidence that the fire was caused by an explosion, officials said.

“There’s no indication at this point in the investigation that there was an explosion that preceded this fire,” Brown said.

The ship had three decks. The lower deck had the sleeping area, the middle deck had the galley and salon, and the top deck had the bridge and the crew’s quarters.

“So it would be perfectly normal for the crew to be on that third deck,” Brown said. “That was their assigned location to sleep.”

The Conception was required to have working smoke detectors and fixed and portable firefighting systems.

“This vessel is required to be inspected annually by the U.S. Coast Guard, and it has been in compliance with all federal regulations,” Rochester said.
 

Johali

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I don't know if a vessel like that, stationary overnight at anchor, would be required to have a crew member awake on watch overnight... @Johali?
Yes they would. Any commercial vessel is required to have a standard watch on duty any time that there's anyone on board. At anchor, dockside or underway. And it was reported that crew members were awake on the bridge while others slept in the crew quarters.

Apparently not an explosion, per that article.
An explosion on a vessel could be a lot different than an explosion elsewhere. If it was the LP gas then it could have been more of a flashback that engulfed the entire vessel in an instant. In that case there would have been zero oxygen, along with the fire and heat, in any enclosed space which pretty much means instant death. Any fire on a vessel is horrific.

I would never sail on a vessel that had LP gas aboard. The power source for anything is what diesel generators are for.
 

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There is now talk of leaving the hull there. I can't believe that they would do that.
 

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From an article I read, the boat had propane fueled stoves. Propane is heavier than air. A slight leak would fill the bilge with gas. The cook was preparing to start cooking for breakfast. His turning on the stove may have started the fire.
 

Johali

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No it wont. An LP gas detector is required if there is any on board. LP gas is heavier than air so the detectors have to be near the deck and on the lower levels.
If it was the LP gas then it could have been more of a flashback that engulfed the entire vessel in an instant. In that case there would have been zero oxygen, along with the fire and heat, in any enclosed space which pretty much means instant death.
In addition to propane, LPG can be butane, isobutane or any of a number of different gases. The difference between LP and propane is that LP includes propane but propane is only one of the LP gases. Essentially, LP gas and propane are the same thing.Aug 22, 2019

https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/350-propane-lpg-whats-what
 

Magnethead

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I can't imagine they'd leave the hull down. The families should be wanting it raised, and if nothing else, so should the NTSB.

60 feet isn't that deep to raise from. But it depends on what's left of the hull, wether it's raised by tether or by sheet.
 

Johali

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I can't imagine they'd leave the hull down. The families should be wanting it raised, and if nothing else, so should the NTSB.

60 feet isn't that deep to raise from. But it depends on what's left of the hull, wether it's raised by tether or by sheet.
If it's stable enough they would probably float-bag it to the surface, get it to shallower water or near a structure if possible then decide their next step. That's the way they usually recover them
 

BobbyFord

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I read a partial transcript somewhere of the 911 call where the reporting party said that there were people “locked” below deck. I’m not exactly sure what that meant but I’d imagine that’s part of the investigation.
 

Johali

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I read a partial transcript somewhere of the 911 call where the reporting party said that there were people “locked” below deck. I’m not exactly sure what that meant but I’d imagine that’s part of the investigation.
That bothered me at first until I read that the transcript of the call was from the yacht owner that brought the survivors aboard. Blocked by fire and locked is very similar in an emergency situation. I really hope that they get this figured out soon. Especially for the sake of the family's of the ones that were lost.
 

BobbyFord

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Someone said the lithium batteries in some of the devices that were in the charging station was the likely source of the fire.
 

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https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/09/18/crew-member-sues-owners-of-the-conception-suggesting-dangerous-conditions-helped-lead-to-tragedy/

Statement from this article:
Quote:
Hart also said another important requirement didn’t appear to be applied.

“Part of the certificate for this vessel required that there be a constantly roving watch person to keep and eye on the safety of this vessel and the interviews to this point have indicated that did not transpire,” Hart says.

@Johali , what are the end results of such a finding?
 

Johali

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https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/09/18/crew-member-sues-owners-of-the-conception-suggesting-dangerous-conditions-helped-lead-to-tragedy/

Statement from this article:
Quote:
Hart also said another important requirement didn’t appear to be applied.

“Part of the certificate for this vessel required that there be a constantly roving watch person to keep and eye on the safety of this vessel and the interviews to this point have indicated that did not transpire,” Hart says.

@Johali , what are the end results of such a finding?
It hasn't been said if a person was designated as an Anchor Watch by the Captain. The person responsible has to be determined first. The Captain not setting a watch or the designated watch stander falling asleep. The ships log, which is required by law, was probably destroyed by the fire if they even bothered to keep one. After this is determined they will be able to pursue the charges through the appropriate channels. Federal or local will be determined by who will be responsible. So far It seems to be leaning more towards the Captain. If it was a designated watch stander they probably weren't required to have Maritime Documents/Licenses aboard a charter diving boat and this will affect what happens next. The Captain of course was required to have the proper documents. It will probably be quite a while yet before we learn more than this.
 
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