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Conception and other similar designed vessels emergency egress / exit

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Conception and other similar designed vessels emergency egress / exit

Old 09-06-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by unobtanium View Post
Contrary to what you believe, I (as ex charter dive boat captain) have found that many obese and non-dexterous people take up scuba diving. The reason being that under water, with proper buoyancy, they can feel and be up to "par" with people without disabilities. That is about the only playing field that allows them to do so, thanks to weightless environment. Now, in this particular boat, fvcking Spiderman would have trouble finding that escape hatch in daylight, let alone at 3am in room ablaze and full of smoke with 30+ bodies in front of him
Really? I didn't say they couldn't participate, but are you saying all vessels should have all the accommodations necessary for all those folks?? Should every vessel have wheel chair access on the whole boat? Should every vessel have lift mechanism, both to hoist folks from the dock to the boat and from the water to/from the boat?

I'm saying that for those folks to participate, THEY should be responsible for making sure the vessel they are going on is able to handle their accommodations, instead of making it mandatory that all vessels are equipped to handle any possible conditions.

I had already acknowledged that on this particular vessel (and other similar to it) that the alternate egress seemed inadequate, regardless of your physical condition. That will have to be addressed but the post I was replying to was implying that the boats should also be suitable for handling folks of various limited physical ability.
Old 09-06-2019, 06:16 PM
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I’ll bet somebody was sleeping that shouldn’t have been sleeping. Terrible tragedy
Old 09-07-2019, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by slickster View Post
I’ll bet somebody was sleeping that shouldn’t have been sleeping. Terrible tragedy
It might be as simple as: had the roving watchperson (which was required by law) actually done their job and had the vessel's smoke detectors actually been working (no one said they heard it go off), they might have put out the fire (seems NTSB has ruled out an explosion) and even if they couldn't, some, if not all those below deck, might not have died.
Old 09-07-2019, 07:33 AM
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Tragic. It can't be said enough. But for a roving watch, or at least functioning smoke and CO detectors ... so preventable.

"Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, who is also the coroner, said a pathologist determined traditional autopsies would not be conducted on the victims.
'Our pathologist is convinced the victims were victims of smoke inhalation,' he said. 'It will likely be the cause of death.' Brown said he consulted with local, state and federal authorities before making the decision to not conduct autopsies. External examination and toxicology samples were taken from each victim, he said. The final ruling on the causes of death will not come until a formal cause of the fire is established, he added."

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...tion-continues
Old 09-07-2019, 08:11 AM
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The escape hatch for 35 people is perhaps the same or similar size as the escape hatch for 2 people (Bomar) on my 25 Carolina Classic and thousands of small v-berth boats? It’s just not going to work as an alternative escape route.

I am certain that our USCG will take a look at the requirements and strengthen them. However, we as divers need to keep this event in mind when we are looking at live-a-board dive boats in other parts of the world. So this tragedy will most certainly have a life saving effect on future dive boats (hopefully older dive boats will have to comply and refit).

Bless all of those divers, they will have save lives my their horrible sacrifice.
Old 09-10-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
It might be as simple as: had the roving watchperson (which was required by law) actually done their job and had the vessel's smoke detectors actually been working (no one said they heard it go off), they might have put out the fire (seems NTSB has ruled out an explosion) and even if they couldn't, some, if not all those below deck, might not have died.
I think you have nailed it exactly. No watchperson as required by 46 CFR 185.410, detectors that didn't work, and inadequate escape routes. The inspectors that signed off on this boat year after year should be hauled into court too, since those individual apparently thought the means of escape (46 CFR 177.50) on this boat were ok.

I literally purchased new dual fire detectors tonight (ionization and photoelectric) for the individual bedrooms in my house. My kids charge all manner of electronic crap in their bedrooms, and everyone sleeps with their bedroom doors closed. We have a detector in the hallway, but with doors closed, I'm not sure how well that detector would have worked.

Old 09-12-2019, 11:49 AM
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DCA19MM047-preliminary-report.pdf

Preliminary report from NTSB is now out. It is confirmed that there was no watchman. Nothing much beyond that.
Old 09-12-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cherylchecheryl View Post
Attachment 1105000
Preliminary report from NTSB is now out. It is confirmed that there was no watchman. Nothing much beyond that.
This is the full text of the NTSB report:
On Monday, September 2, 2019, about 3:14 a.m. Pacific daylight time, US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach received a distress call from the 75-foot commercial diving vessel Conception, with 39 persons on board. The Conception was owned and operated by Truth Aquatics, Inc., based in Santa Barbara, California. The Conception was classified by the Coast Guard as a small passenger vessel that took passengers on dive excursions in the waters around the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. The accident voyage was a three-day diving trip to the Channel Islands. On the last night of the voyage, the vessel was anchored in Platts Harbor off Santa Cruz Island, 21.5 nautical miles south-southwest of Santa Barbara, when it caught fire. Weather conditions were reported as slight to no winds with patchy fog, 2–3-foot seas, and air and water temperature about 65°F. The Conception was carrying 39 persons, 6 of which were crew. Thirty-three passengers and one crewmember died.
The wood and fiberglass vessel was built in 1981. The vessel had three levels: the uppermost sun deck, containing the wheelhouse and crew rooms; the main deck, which included the salon and galley; and the lower deck within the hull, which housed the passenger berthing (bunkroom) and shower room, as well as the engine room and tanks.
Initial interviews of three crewmembers revealed that no mechanical or electrical issues were reported. At the time of the fire, five crewmembers were asleep in berths behind the wheelhouse, and one crewmember was asleep in the bunkroom, which was accessed from the salon down a ladderwell in the forward, starboard corner of the compartment. The bunkroom had an emergency escape hatch located on the aft end, which also exited to the salon. There were two, locally-sounding smoke detectors in the overhead of the bunkroom.
Five crewmember sleeping in the wheelhouse berths was awakened by a noise and got up to investigate. He saw a fire at the aft end of the sun deck, rising up from the salon compartment below. The crewmember alerted the crew behind the wheelhouse. As crewmembers awoke, the captain radioed a distress message to the Coast Guard.
The crewmembers attempted to access the salon and passengers below. Unable to use the aft ladder, which was on fire, the crewmembers jumped down to the main deck (one crewmember broke his leg in the process) and tried to access the salon and galley compartment, which was fully engulfed by fire at the aft end and by thick smoke in the forward end, through a forward window. Unable to open the window and overwhelmed by smoke, the crew jumped overboard.

Two crewmembers and the captain swam to the stern, reboarded the vessel, opened the hatch to the engine room, and saw no fire. Access to the salon through the aft doors was blocked by fire, so they launched a small skiff and picked up the remaining two crewmembers in the water. They transferred to a recreational vessel anchored nearby (Grape Escape) where the captain continued to radio for help, while two crewmembers returned to the Conception to search for survivors around the burning hull. Local Coast Guard and fire departments arrived on scene to extinguish the fire and conduct search and rescue. The vessel burned to the waterline by morning and subsequently sank in about 60 feet of water.
Later that day, the Coast Guard declared the accident a major marine casualty. The NTSB was named as the lead federal agency for the safety investigation and launched a full team to Santa Barbara, arriving on scene the following morning. The Coast Guard, Truth Aquatics, Inc., Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, and Santa Barbara County Fire Department were named as parties to the NTSB investigation.
Investigators have collected documents from recent Coast Guard inspections and visited another Truth Aquatics vessel, Vision, a vessel similar to the Conception. Salvage operations to bring the wreckage to the surface for examination and documentation have begun. Investigators plan to examine current regulations regarding vessels of this type, year of build, and operation; early-warning and smoke-detection and alarm systems; evacuation routes; training; and current company policies and procedures. Efforts continue to determine the source of the fire.


So now that we know all of the crew were actually asleep in their bunks, in my opinion, I hope the charge the captain with 34 counts of manslaughter and seek the federal death penalty; and separately charge all four other surviving crew as well and let them do some serious time.
Having the legally required watch stander asleep in his or her bunk when 34 people are sleeping below decks is simply inexcusable. This is not a watch stander accidently falling asleep this is the sign of a captain and crew who just had no respect for the law and the safety of those aboard, and frankly that captain needs to fry.
Old 09-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
T......
So now that we know all of the crew were actually asleep in their bunks, in my opinion, I hope the charge the captain with 34 counts of manslaughter and seek the federal death penalty; and separately charge all four other surviving crew as well and let them do some serious time.
Having the legally required watch stander asleep in his or her bunk when 34 people are sleeping below decks is simply inexcusable. This is not a watch stander accidently falling asleep this is the sign of a captain and crew who just had no respect for the law and the safety of those aboard, and frankly that captain needs to fry.
I don't think the death penalty is avail. for manslughter, and IMO, rightly so...While I see you have strong opinions regarding this, do you feel this was intentional? I ask because while I feel the death penalty might be warranted in certain circumstances, I don't think unintentional acts should qualify...I don't think it's a stretch to presume all parties would never act with disregard again.

Further, having read the prelim report, I don't see where it says anything about whether someone was supposed to be on watch and fell asleep or not. So, to want the death penalty for the captain seems an over-reach. I still await the full report and I do hope some changes get made to the design of egress and detection.

Question, if someone was supposed to be on watch, do you feel the other crew members should be held accountable and at fault? Put yourself in their shoes and tell me what you would have done differently.
Old 09-12-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyStark View Post
I don't think the death penalty is avail. for manslughter, and IMO, rightly so...While I see you have strong opinions regarding this, do you feel this was intentional? I ask because while I feel the death penalty might be warranted in certain circumstances, I don't think unintentional acts should qualify...I don't think it's a stretch to presume all parties would never act with disregard again.

Further, having read the prelim report, I don't see where it says anything about whether someone was supposed to be on watch and fell asleep or not. So, to want the death penalty for the captain seems an over-reach. I still await the full report and I do hope some changes get made to the design of egress and detection.

Question, if someone was supposed to be on watch, do you feel the other crew members should be held accountable and at fault? Put yourself in their shoes and tell me what you would have done differently.
i feel sad for everyone. No one intended anything awful to happen.

Whether the crew should be charged, in my opinion, is whether they knew that a watch was required by regulations or company policy. If they didn’t know the law and if the company/captain didn’t require a watch, then it was not an intentional violation.
Old 09-13-2019, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyStark View Post
I don't think the death penalty is avail. for manslughter, and IMO, rightly so...While I see you have strong opinions regarding this, do you feel this was intentional? I ask because while I feel the death penalty might be warranted in certain circumstances, I don't think unintentional acts should qualify...I don't think it's a stretch to presume all parties would never act with disregard again.
Further, having read the prelim report, I don't see where it says anything about whether someone was supposed to be on watch and fell asleep or not. So, to want the death penalty for the captain seems an over-reach. I still await the full report and I do hope some changes get made to the design of egress and detection.
Question, if someone was supposed to be on watch, do you feel the other crew members should be held accountable and at fault? Put yourself in their shoes and tell me what you would have done differently.
If you read the NTSB report, it clearly states that a watch stander was legally required, and it would be written of the vessel's USCG Certificate of Inspection (which has all crewing requirements in its text), which must be posted in the vessel's wheelhouse, so the captain and all of the crew were well aware of the requirement for a watch stander 24 hours per day.
The NTSB report clearly states all 6 crewmembers were in their bunks, so it is not the case of one crewmember just falling asleep - they purposely went to bed.
Just like very other manslaughter statute, the law requires negligent acts that led to the death, not intent to cause death, which would be murder and is punishable by death.
The Seaman's Manslaughter Statute is punishable by up to 10 years in prison for every death caused - so potentially 340 years in prison - the death penalty might be a fairer outcome.
And, as to your last two questions, there is no doubt in my mind that the captain authorized all of the crew to go to sleep, when at least one (by law and good seamanship) needed to stay awake, that the all of the crew agreed to break the law, and had the required watch stander not been sleeping in their bunk, the fire would have been quickly discovered, and far fewer, if anyone, would have died. As for doing something differently - it is simple: follow the law and have a watch stander awake and on duty 24 hours per day.
Old 09-13-2019, 05:43 AM
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I just found the Conception's Certicate of Inspection, and it does require a roving patrol at all times when the passenger bunks are occupied.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
Really? I didn't say they couldn't participate, but are you saying all vessels should have all the accommodations necessary for all those folks?? Should every vessel have wheel chair access on the whole boat? Should every vessel have lift mechanism, both to hoist folks from the dock to the boat and from the water to/from the boat?

I'm saying that for those folks to participate, THEY should be responsible for making sure the vessel they are going on is able to handle their accommodations, instead of making it mandatory that all vessels are equipped to handle any possible conditions.

I had already acknowledged that on this particular vessel (and other similar to it) that the alternate egress seemed inadequate, regardless of your physical condition. That will have to be addressed but the post I was replying to was implying that the boats should also be suitable for handling folks of various limited physical ability.
Must be THIS TALL --- to ride...

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