Safety deficiencies suspected in California boat fire after preliminary investigation: report

Via:  sparty-on  •  3 months ago  •  15 comments

Safety deficiencies suspected in California boat fire after preliminary investigation: report

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

A preliminary investigation into a Southern  California  dive boat  fire  that killed 34 people off the coast of Santa Barbara is raising concerns over safety flaws on the vessel, according to a report.

The Conception lacked a “roaming night watchman” who would stay awake to warn sleeping passengers of hazards, multiple law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity reportedly told the Los Angeles Times.

The investigation also questioned whether the crew was adequately trained in case of fire or if the passengers were given a safety briefing.

Jennifer Homendy, who is overseeing the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation, said one of the surviving crewmembers told investigators he didn’t hear a smoke alarm, The Times reported. The crew member described the alarm as “one that can be bought at Home Depot” but may not have been “wired to a centralized system with alarms,” which was not required at the time the boat was built.


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Sparty On
1  seeder  Sparty On    3 months ago

Not good if true.  

I've been on my share of liveaboards, some better than others but they ALL had a "Midwatch."   That's just SOP for this sort of operation.

This tragedy was likely completely avoidable.

1.1  Kavika   replied to  Sparty On @1    3 months ago

According to the original reports, 5 of the crew were topside and awake when the fire broke out. 

1.1.1  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @1.1    3 months ago

I can't believe they didn't have some type of fire suppression  system on that boat every tug I work on has one as does all inboard boats I service. 

1.1.2  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @1.1.1    3 months ago

I agree MUVA. But I think that all types of information is coming out and none yet has been verified. 

Sparty On
1.1.3  seeder  Sparty On  replied to  Kavika @1.1    3 months ago

Most of these boats are set up so the patron berthing is in the least motion spot.   Usually near the waterline.   Crew berths lesser so, so i bet their berthing was higher up.

That said, sometimes the crews were not the most reliable people i've ever dealt with.   Unfortunately it doesn't surprise me that most of them survived.

Sparty On
1.1.4  seeder  Sparty On  replied to  MUVA @1.1.1    3 months ago

Should be required if it wasn't.   One thing i read is that their batteries and cell phones were charging in the galley.   Not good since the galley was probably down below, near their berthing area.   Some of those camera/light batteries are volatile as hell.   Most of the boats i was on had a charging table above on deck.   Much safer than below deck.

1.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Sparty On @1.1.3    3 months ago

The dive boats that I've been on, 5 and 6 day trips had all the safety eqpt and I always knew where the hatch was. 

I could never bring myself to sleep in the bunks below. I always slept on the deck...Rain or shine...LOL...

1.1.6  lib50  replied to  Kavika @1.1.5    3 months ago

We used to dive off the Truth (sister of the Conception), slept in the bunks below, never a thought of a disaster trapping us.  Some things happen in the blink of an eye.  

1.1.7  Kavika   replied to  lib50 @1.1.6    3 months ago

I did some diving off the Channel Islands but it was always on a private boat (mine or my friends) and we only stayed for the day. 

Did the live-aboard thing in Fiji and some of the other South Pacific Islands. 

1.3  KDMichigan  replied to  Sparty On @1    3 months ago

I seen that the main hatch was engulfed in fire and that the other hatch was very small.

This is sad but goes to show that life can be gone in a instant.

1.4  Freefaller  replied to  Sparty On @1    3 months ago
This tragedy was likely completely avoidable.

They usually are

Vic Eldred
1.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sparty On @1    3 months ago

"The owners of the dive boat where 34 people perished in a fire off Southern California filed a lawsuit Thursday to head off potentially costly litigation, a move condemned by some observers as disrespectful to the families of the dead."

I think the owner feels they did everything right and are now welcoming anyone who wants to contest that.  This was quite an explosion. I think when they find out how that happened is when blame can be fixed.

Sparty On
1.5.1  seeder  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.5    3 months ago

Some batteries can do that.   One of the reasons its a good idea to have charging stations away from living areas.


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