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More than 30 killed off santa cruz island


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12 hours ago, benwynn said:

Just put 6 people in the last row of a 737-800.  90 seconds to get out. The woman in 36C weighs 360.lbs.

Go.

 

On a San Francisco-Boston-Portugal flight, we’re pretty much in the dead center of an Airbus A-3Something midway across the Atlantic over a nasty storm. Full turbulence since takeoff, seatbelt light never turns off.  After a series of whoop-de-doos, my travel mate tells me:

 I read an article about a study on airplane evacuations.  The people who took their time to calmly get to the nearest emergency exit had a high likelihood of dying.  Those that scrambled over the seat tops and other people to get to an unobstructed exit had a much higher chance of escape!  

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Really? That is the stretch of the F'n year! If you have a legit beef against the Administration, O.K. But this drivel???? WOW   So Trump went into a time machine, made them build the boat out of wood

Please refrain from pointing suspicious fingers or arched eyebrows at the crew at this stage?? We weren't there, and don't know how or how fast the blaze started.  In due time we will know. I've

The bullshit has piled up here so deep and fast that I'm actually embarrassed that I even started this thread, If I could delete the whole fucking thing, I would. Some of you should be ashamed, m

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The Limitation Act does not make a shipowner look good, and the timing here may look uncaring.  But an underwriter (and therefore their insured, the owner) would be unwise not to file one.  It assures all the claims will be heard in one federal court jurisdiction, rather than a multiple of state or federal jurisdictions, as Clean has pointed out.  Has to be filed within six months or it's waived.

This has been a somber-feeling week for me.  Devastation in Northern Bahamas reminded me once again of Katrina, though winds from Dorian were much higher.   And I've been on liveaboard dive boats not unlike the Conception, with those "underground-feeling" sleeping quarters.  We humans are definitely not indestructible.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, nolatom said:

The Limitation Act does not make a shipowner look good, and the timing here may look uncaring.  But an underwriter (and therefore their insured, the owner) would be unwise not to file one.  It assures all the claims will be heard in one federal court jurisdiction, rather than a multiple of state or federal jurisdictions, as Clean has pointed out.  Has to be filed within six months or it's waived.

This has been a somber-feeling week for me.  Devastation in Northern Bahamas reminded me once again of Katrina, though winds from Dorian were much higher.   And I've been on liveaboard dive boats not unlike the Conception, with those "underground-feeling" sleeping quarters.  We humans are definitely not indestructible.

 

 

Anything can and does happen in court.  In this case a commercial vessel with paying passengers failing to maintain any kind of watch.  The limitations should be thrown out for failing the basic practice of maintaining an anchor watch.  Further a paid professional crew heard something and fail to look. The judgment and liability will exceed the owners asset value and underwriter limits.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Patriot said:

Still waiting for your link that supports the notion that no one was on watch - or are you just imagining?

here you go: 

Homendy [NTSB] said one crew member should have been looking for dangers.

“There is a requirement in their certificate to have a night watchman,” she said.

somebody may be headed to jail.. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-06/harrowing-stories-of-death-and-survival-aboard-conception-as-fire-ravaged-boat

 

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7 minutes ago, floater said:

here you go: 

Homendy [NTSB] said one crew member should have been looking for dangers.

“There is a requirement in their certificate to have a night watchman,” she said.

somebody may be headed to jail.. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-06/harrowing-stories-of-death-and-survival-aboard-conception-as-fire-ravaged-boat

 

The surviving crews claims are they woke up to a fully involved fire on the main deck.  The decks between passenger sleeping quarters and the pilot house crew sleeping quarters.  The captain made two mayday calls from the pilot house and the surviving crew leaped from the bow into the water.  There was no adequate watch awake.  I can see a practice of long dive work days were everyone needs sleep.  The accident review will not accept that practice. Even the Holiday Express keeps someone awake and alert.

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4 hours ago, BravoBravo said:

I have some doubts a watch would have made a difference, it seems the fire began in the sleeping area with no one able to escape. Someone sitting watch on the bridge would not have been aware soon enough to make a difference, IMO. It seems without a single person staggering to the deck it was a extremely rapid combustion 

Or an advanced fire. The fact that there are little to no accelerants on board leads me to believe that the fire was going for a long enough period that it wasn't feasible for your average bubba gump shrimp boat crew to battle. Everyone is assuming that the crew was awake(ish)? when it happened. Thats why it doesn't add up. If they were all asleep then things start to make a LOT more sense. Overload of an electrical outlet from people charging shit or shitty wiring of some sort along with a fully sleeping crew is where I'd place my bet. 

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There was some comment about fire hoses being available.   Not sure they would be of much use. 

When I bought a new power boat years ago, the salesman went throught the features and safety items.  When he got the the fire extinguisher he said, "When it is time for one of these, it is time to get off the boat and forget about the fire extinquisher because a fire moves to fast."

Automatic fire suppression systems seem like the only really workable solution when you don't have a lot of room from which to fight the fire. 

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18 minutes ago, Team Subterfuge said:

There was some comment about fire hoses being available.   Not sure they would be of much use. 

When I bought a new power boat years ago, the salesman went throught the features and safety items.  When he got the the fire extinguisher he said, "When it is time for one of these, it is time to get off the boat and forget about the fire extinquisher because a fire moves to fast."

Automatic fire suppression systems seem like the only really workable solution when you don't have a lot of room from which to fight the fire. 

Salesmen are not authorities on fire suppression.

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5 minutes ago, NotTrueWind said:

yeah, but that's usually for the diving part not for the boat ride.

Here is a release from another dive boat company.

I WILL RELEASE XXX, LLC, Dive Boat XXX, its owner, and their employees and agents, including the boat Captain, and diver masters, from any and all responsibility or LIABILITY for any and all injuries or damages sustained by me or others. I WILL NOT SUE or make a claim against any of the above parties for injuries or damages sustained by me or others, whether it arises or results from any NEGLIGENCE or other liability.

No mention that the release only applies once you enter the water.

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19 minutes ago, Team Subterfuge said:

After I saw a boat catch fire at the fuel dock, I thought his suggestion was spot on.

Yeah well fueling...
Sometimes you have to fight the fire. The NOAA ship Ka-Imimoana had an electrical fire in then  engineroom in the middle of the Pacific, they put on their SCBA's and dove into it. Middle of the ocean. Save the ship or then what? 30 people on rafts? They successfully put it out.

Not all fires should be left to burn. Especially when there are passengers below. Something went terribly wrong. The fire station #1 is on the port side aft outside of the deckhouse. The escape is about 4 feet forward of the aft bhd of the deckhouse. That hose would have been the way to suppress enough to get that hatch opened. Then again where did the fire start? Below? We just don't know yet.

The timeline is weird too. So did that crew doze off? Or not? The scant stuff I've read isn't clear.

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3 minutes ago, Team Subterfuge said:

Here is a release from another dive boat company.

I WILL RELEASE XXX, LLC, Dive Boat XXX, its owner, and their employees and agents, including the boat Captain, and diver masters, from any and all responsibility or LIABILITY for any and all injuries or damages sustained by me or others. I WILL NOT SUE or make a claim against any of the above parties for injuries or damages sustained by me or others, whether it arises or results from any NEGLIGENCE or other liability.

No mention that the release only applies once you enter the water.

Everyone who signed that is dead, how could it affect their survivors?

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3 minutes ago, Team Subterfuge said:

Here is a release from another dive boat company.

I WILL RELEASE XXX, LLC, Dive Boat XXX, its owner, and their employees and agents, including the boat Captain, and diver masters, from any and all responsibility or LIABILITY for any and all injuries or damages sustained by me or others. I WILL NOT SUE or make a claim against any of the above parties for injuries or damages sustained by me or others, whether it arises or results from any NEGLIGENCE or other liability.

No mention that the release only applies once you enter the water.

That means absolutely nothing. You cannot write a legal contract to negate a statutory responsibility. The vessel operators are required to meet a duty of care as spelled out in the CFR. For instance:

image.png.152bc9500e87afe566397f3ae5c3928d.png

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9 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Just read that the boat’s owners have started Admiralty Law litigation to limit their liability to the decedents’ families claims. If they are successful, the families will only be awarded the remains of the boat, which is, of course, worthless.

That said, it was reported that these cases are usually settled out of court. 

I hope the families don’t get screwed. They haven’t even buried their dead and now have just six months to gather facts and file lawsuits....

Every time I get on an Airplane or a Boat I think "This might be my last time I do this."
Why do I say this, because anything can go sideways in a heart beat. And because I am a paraplegic, I tell everyone around me. Save your self first because you cannot help me if you are dead.

Anyone who gets on a boat and thinks they will have a pleasant trip is deluded. Of course we hope for the best, but you had better plan for the worst.

7 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

$50 worth of smoke detectors would have been a good start :rolleyes:

Yea, I find it hard to believe that there was no Fire Alarm going off. Something sounds odd.

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2 hours ago, Boo-Yah said:

The surviving crews claims are they woke up to a fully involved fire on the main deck.  The decks between passenger sleeping quarters and the pilot house crew sleeping quarters.  The captain made two mayday calls from the pilot house and the surviving crew leaped from the bow into the water.  There was no adequate watch awake.  I can see a practice of long dive work days were everyone needs sleep.  The accident review will not accept that practice. Even the Holiday Express keeps someone awake and alert.

Not in Nowhere'sville  Missouri.   I forget the chain.   She actually left me alone in the continental breakfast to take her kid to school.   If management didn't pay for a second person I'm quite sure they didn't pay her to stay up all night.  

Back to my question of last night.   Does the law require a watch for this class of boat?   Assuming it had alarm systems that failed (either faulty, or the wires just burned in the fire before the alarm in a different location was triggered), to what extent are alarms considered adequate?    I'm sure this is a letter of the law vs the spirit of the law, but a large anchored vessel almost certainly doesn't have management paying people to walk the bilges every hour looking for water, walking the corridors smelling for smoke and taking bearings on the lights to make sure they aren't drifting.  How often does the night watch of an anchored ship actually check these things?   How many compartments do they check on a large ship during a night?   I'll wager a night shift is given reports to file, maintenance to perform and serves as a watch in name only.   A designated crew member napping with hourly checks would provide exactly as much security as a watch confined to his desk most of the night.  

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1 minute ago, Lark said:

Not in Nowhere'sville  Missouri.   I forget the chain.   She actually left me alone in the continental breakfast to take her kid to school.   If management didn't pay for a second person I'm quite sure they didn't pay her to stay up all night.  

Back to my question of last night.   Does the law require a watch for this class of boat?   Assuming it had alarm systems that failed (either faulty, or the wires just burned in the fire before the alarm in a different location was triggered), to what extent are alarms considered adequate?    I'm sure this is a letter of the law vs the spirit of the law, but a large anchored vessel almost certainly doesn't have management paying people to walk the bilges every hour looking for water, walking the corridors smelling for smoke and taking bearings on the lights to make sure they aren't drifting.  How often does the night watch of an anchored ship actually check these things?   How many compartments do they check on a large ship during a night?   I'll wager a night shift is given reports to file, maintenance to perform and serves as a watch in name only.   A designated crew member napping with hourly checks would provide exactly as much security as a watch confined to his desk of fixing the head most of the night.  

It is absolutely a statutory requirement to have a deck watch 24 hrs a day. End of story.

image.png.4100f9f147711e037e3b9a2e1fffaa35.png

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Just now, fastyacht said:

It is absolutely a statutory requirement to have a deck watch 24 hrs a day. End of story.

image.png.4100f9f147711e037e3b9a2e1fffaa35.png

Thank you.   I couldn't find a clear answer in my brief search.   What other duties may that watchman be given at the same time, or is he supposed to be dedicated to this task?   Suitable number seems like a vague point for the lawyers to argue over.   When something bad happens it is demonstrated the number wasn't suitable, whatever it was.   The missing passenger on a cruise ship headline would suggest the watch was insufficient, and that ship was at sea.   You established zero would be illegal.   If there was no watch I predict the owners will blame the captain and pretend they thought it was happening.   Insurance will claim deception and try to void the policy.   

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5 minutes ago, BravoBravo said:

I doubt an investigator said that before a report... perhaps a talking head or a ham and eager speculator like us

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/06/california-dive-boat-fire-conception-victims-identified/2233466001/

 

 Preliminary investigations of bodies find death from inhalation likely.

SB Sheriff Brown

 

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I'm wondering how an automatic sprinkler system might work on a small-ish boat.  Like, what holds or generates the pressure, and how will it keep going during a fire while all of the boat's systems progressively (or rapidly) shut down?  Just curious, no agenda.  I get how an engine room fire suppressant system works, with a stored, pressurised gas based system, but you can't do that in a sleeping quarters.

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7 minutes ago, Secret Experiment said:

I'm wondering how an automatic sprinkler system might work on a small-ish boat.  Like, what holds or generates the pressure, and how will it keep going during a fire while all of the boat's systems progressively (or rapidly) shut down?  Just curious, no agenda.  I get how an engine room fire suppressant system works, with a stored, pressurised gas based system, but you can't do that in a sleeping quarters.

Fog works safely in passenger quarters. If you want to know about these systems, go here:
https://www.marioff.com/water-mist/fire-suppression-with-hi-fogr-how-does-it-work

These systems are installed on many yachts.

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40 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

It is absolutely a statutory requirement to have a deck watch 24 hrs a day. End of story.

image.png.4100f9f147711e037e3b9a2e1fffaa35.png

I understand your point that there are statutory duties - such that an owner can have their license suspended, fined or prosecuted criminally.  However, I believe a release does release liability for injuries or death by a releasing party - even liability based on statute, unless the release is against public policy.

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Just now, Team Subterfuge said:

I understand your point that their are statutory duties - such that an owner can have their license suspended, fined or prosecuted criminally.  However, I believe a release does release liability for injuries or death by a releasing party - even liability based on statute, unless the release is against public policy.

OK you just went past my legal pay grade there.

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5 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Fog works safely in passenger quarters. If you want to know about these systems, go here:
https://www.marioff.com/water-mist/fire-suppression-with-hi-fogr-how-does-it-work

These systems are installed on many yachts. 

Thanks, that's helpful.  So, they do depend on an ongoing electrical supply but that is down to engineering and design. 

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A boat will have a fire alarm system, required like any commercial building. There will be smoke detectors and likely heat detectors in the galley. This boat did not have sprinklers, don’t know the regulations as to when it’s required.  When one smoke goes off the all the strobes and alarms go off.

We all know the fire triangle, fuel, oxygen and ignition source.  What fuel source was there that rapidly spread across the boat?  The commercial smoke detectors are designed to reduce false alarms with multiple way to verify its smoke. They work pretty well and for commercial buildings require an annual inspection by a trained professional. They use canned smoke to test the devices and system. A smoke detector relies on the smoke to rise to it, so in a large warehouse might take a while, but normal ceilings not so long

Toxic gases: CO is one but others can occur on a boat. Most of us are familiar with propane and gasoline both heavier than air and sink. They are of course flammable, but there could have been others  and of course a fire will produce significant toxic gases, but usually the fire system is activated by then.

I have to wonder if the people sleeping were already overcome before the fire erupted.  Those higher up were less affected by it and thus able to react.  The person on watch could have been diminished in capacity resulting from exposure  

i am only offering possibilities that support a crew that their only option was to save themselves  as it was too late for any other action

 

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4 minutes ago, Special Ed said:

A boat will have a fire alarm system, required like any commercial building. There will be smoke detectors and likely heat detectors in the galley. This boat did not have sprinklers, don’t know the regulations as to when it’s required.  When one smoke goes off the all the strobes and alarms go off.

We all know the fire triangle, fuel, oxygen and ignition source.  What fuel source was there that rapidly spread across the boat?  The commercial smoke detectors are designed to reduce false alarms with multiple way to verify its smoke. They work pretty well and for commercial buildings require an annual inspection by a trained professional. They use canned smoke to test the devices and system. A smoke detector relies on the smoke to rise to it, so in a large warehouse might take a while, but normal ceilings not so long

Toxic gases: CO is one but others can occur on a boat. Most of us are familiar with propane and gasoline both heavier than air and sink. They are of course flammable, but there could have been others  and of course a fire will produce significant toxic gases, but usually the fire system is activated by then.

I have to wonder if the people sleeping were already overcome before the fire erupted.  Those higher up were less affected by it and thus able to react.  The person on watch could have been diminished in capacity resulting from exposure  

i am only offering possibilities that support a crew that their only option was to save themselves  as it was too late for any other action

 

I don't think this boat necessarily had an integrated alarm system.Understanding was no propane. But that was based on initial information coming apparently from owner in interviews.

There is this eerie idea that somehow the ventilation system was ingesting toxic smoke, feeding it below, no alarm yet, people overcome in their sleep. That not a single person escaped out of there is the really strange and unsettling part. That leaves me with more and more questions.

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1 hour ago, Meat Wad said:

Every time I get on an Airplane or a Boat I think "This might be my last time I do this."
Why do I say this, because anything can go sideways in a heart beat. And because I am a paraplegic, I tell everyone around me. Save your self first because you cannot help me if you are dead.

Anyone who gets on a boat and thinks they will have a pleasant trip is deluded. Of course we hope for the best, but you had better plan for the worst.

Yea, I find it hard to believe that there was no Fire Alarm going off. Something sounds odd.

As I told Rick D last Saturday, “Here are the 3 things we need to do today.”

1:  Plan safe 

2: Have fun

3: Do well

We accomplished all 3. No top placing, but safe and fun. 

The Seaport Museum I learned much in had a huge sign THINK SAFETY!

Rick and you have to be more cautious for a good reason. Guys like me have to make sure we remember how to be of help and not limit what you guys know how to do on a boat or get you into too much danger. Shit, in fact, does go wrong in less than a New York second.

 

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The secondary escape, if similar to the sister ship, is criminal. That is in no way a clear way out if you have to do an S-bend over a bunk. And it doesn't escape to an open deck.

That's a greedy owner packing in as many bodies as it can with no regard to the realities of if something goes wrong.

The US CFR Maritime rules have a lot of loopholes. Up until relatively recently, tugs didn't have to have a radar. It took a tug or barge colliding with a train bridge on the Mississippi to change that.

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27 minutes ago, Zonker said:

The secondary escape, if similar to the sister ship, is criminal. That is in no way a clear way out if you have to do an S-bend over a bunk. And it doesn't escape to an open deck.

That's a greedy owner packing in as many bodies as it can with no regard to the realities of if something goes wrong.

The US CFR Maritime rules have a lot of loopholes. Up until relatively recently, tugs didn't have to have a radar. It took a tug or barge colliding with a train bridge on the Mississippi to change that.

That was a horrendous calamity. I remember that. Although was it the Miss? Doesn't change the point. Ah, it was Bayou Canot:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bayou_Canot_rail_accident

She had radar but improper training. At that time all of our customers ran radar! But yes, it was not required of tugboats only a decade earlier.
image.png.5c4f044b2f2fd03fed6a783c7ab68e0f.png

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25 minutes ago, Zonker said:

The secondary escape, if similar to the sister ship, is criminal. That is in no way a clear way out if you have to do an S-bend over a bunk. And it doesn't escape to an open deck.

That's a greedy owner packing in as many bodies as it can with no regard to the realities of if something goes wrong.

The US CFR Maritime rules have a lot of loopholes. Up until relatively recently, tugs didn't have to have a radar. It took a tug or barge colliding with a train bridge on the Mississippi to change that.

Zonks,

I don't disagree that the secondary escape is totally inadequate, but...it was also totally legal and in compliance.  Not 100% sure you can place all the blame on the greedy owner here.  The owner might well have been naive to the dangers posed.  After all, they have safely operated those vessels for almost 40 years.  My 20 years in the Navy says they were lucky, not good, but still, if you build your boat to be 100% compliant with the regs at the time???

I wonder how a smaller Coast Guard vessel of that approximate size is built?  Does it have a dedicate secondary escape from berthing that is unobstructed with a dedicated ladder, that opens to a separate space?  Are the mess decks considered a "separate space" from the galley?  

I suspect that the apparent lack of a watchstander who was alert and paying attention is going to be critical in this particular incident.

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Guys, I gotta be honest,  this event is really getting to me, I mean spooked, thinking about it a lot...

I'm not sure resolution of what happened,  when and if that comes to light, will help. 

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4 minutes ago, Crash said:

I wonder how a smaller Coast Guard vessel of that approximate size is built?  Does it have a dedicate secondary escape from berthing that is unobstructed with a dedicated ladder, that opens to a separate space?

I bet any ladder would be unobstructed. Frankly I don't have a lot of experience with US passenger vessels. 

Perhaps greed of the owner isn't correct. Willful blindness of the Sgt. Shultz variety?  In this case I doubt a better escape would have helped because it seems likely smoke inhalation got them before the fire. 

Here's a self righting lifeboat for the Canadian Coast Guard. This is 19m/62' long. It has a below deck survivor space. Note the 2 well spaced escapes, one leading to an open deck. That's how it should be done.

image.png.6094bcd277267d818c2e73768256a95e.png

 

Here is dive boat operating in Mexico. The crew quarters have an escape that leads to the open deck. Great!

The passenger escape leads into the same space (mess/galley) as the main escape which is very bad. It's usually easy to put the escape out on the side of the ship, have a recessed trunk in the deckhouse and truly get to an outside deck.

image.thumb.png.d020ce72785f1f41b8753a1a1dc0ae7d.png

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This is 20-20 hindsight but the escape arrangement on the boat in question was utterly absurd and obviously dangerous. And easy to fix. As someone pointed out, get rid of 3 berths. Build the trunk to come out aft of the deckhouse. Lose some mess space or rearrange it. Basically they got away with a bad design for 40 years. Luck was on their side--they never had a fire start, that we know of. But this time the three things needed for disaster all fell into place in a 1/2 hour time period (0230 to 0305).

Crash asks about mess/galley spaces being considered separate or not. T-boats have very little to say about fire boundaries and zones (see my direct citations upthread). K-boats however, do. As do H (full sized) passenger ships. If we take the spirit of the H boat rules and apply the paradigms to T-boats, you could not have two escapes into the same enclosed space, as you do here.  Not in my opinion anyway, but I give prudence the benefit of the doubt more often than not when I read the rules.

As I said some time back, engineering and design to a rational safety systems specification are not part of the approval process for a T-boat, in practice. The regulations aren't written that way and don't demand it. If an owner involves a good naval architect or designer who has that mindset, then you'll get a proper arrangement. But many T-boats had no professional experienced designers involved.  As long as you met the regulations, the inspector's comments were addressed, it was all ok.  Larger vessels require significant plan review but the T-boat side is very much more abbreviated.

The smoke inhalation thing may move this whole affair into a different direction. The lack of a watch, apparently at this stage, listening to the chief boardmember of the NTSB, will be important.  We will see how it goes.  PS the alarms were not integrated to each other nor to the bridge. That was confirmed in the NTSB press conferences #2 and #3.

I would hope that the VISION (the sistership) is modified to achieve these improvements along with others--even if the NTSB doesn't bring such recommendations and the CG doesn't implement them.

I wouldn't say this is only a US problem either. That fundamental problem of prescriptive rules versus a comprehensive systems approach is missing in much of regulation the world over. Frankly systems engineering is difficult but necessary for good results.

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Systems engineering isn't difficult.  It's time consuming and maybe expensive when done right, but not really any harder than any other engineering...My wife has a PhD in the subject...

Prescriptive rules, well written can be effective, but it hard to write them in such as way as to cover all the possibilities and issues...

In a weird kind of realization, it occurred to me that all the berthing my guys lived on on big grey ships always had multiple escape routes to multiple different spaces/escape routes.  It's obvious that the Navy as learned those lessons the hard way over many years of combat.  But no officer's stateroom I ever lived in had more than one way out.  So even the Junior Officer's Bunkroom with 8 guys in it only had one way out.  Typically we were higher in the ship then enlisted berthing, and I think the 2 ways out was more a flooding then fire issue.  I also only lived on Aircraft Carriers, on the O3 level (right below the flight deck) But most officers would be trapped in their staterooms if there was a fire in the passageway outside there staterooms...

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Of course eliminating three berths cuts the lifetime earning potential, therefore the value of the boat, by 9%.  This is not something an owner or mortgage holder would willingly accept without force of regulation.

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9 hours ago, Boo-Yah said:

There is very real world data on how long it takes to empty a commercial plane.  Real research, real planning, real training,  real history. 

and real injuries.  When they do the drills, everyone has to sign a waiver absolving the liability for all the damage people do to each other even knowing it is just a drill.  Everything from broken ankles to concussions from people trampling over each other trying to make the 90s limit.

 

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5 hours ago, Team Subterfuge said:

As for the limitation of liability, I am sure that everyone signed a Release of Liability before getting on the boat.

You cannot signed away the right to something before you have it.  When it comes to negligence or gross error.  Those wavers are worthless when it comes to real damages.  The release might hold of you slip on ice skating.  No chance of the Zamboni hurts you.   

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5 minutes ago, sledracr said:

and real injuries.  When they do the drills, everyone has to sign a waiver absolving the liability for all the damage people do to each other even knowing it is just a drill.  Everything from broken ankles to concussions from people trampling over each other trying to make the 90s limit.

 

The release of there is one is BS.  The US air industry has a treaty that determines limits on damages.  Maritime has their own limits and mandatory payments.  The surviving crew will have guaranteed Jones Act benefits.        

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

The secondary escape, if similar to the sister ship, is criminal. That is in no way a clear way out if you have to do an S-bend over a bunk. And it doesn't escape to an open deck.

That's a greedy owner packing in as many bodies as it can with no regard to the realities of if something goes wrong.

The US CFR Maritime rules have a lot of loopholes. Up until relatively recently, tugs didn't have to have a radar. It took a tug or barge colliding with a train bridge on the Mississippi to change that.

One of the original owners and founders was the designer.  He cashed out long ago. He will be one of the next to be roasted in the media.

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17 minutes ago, Lark said:

Of course eliminating three berths cuts the lifetime earning potential, therefore the value of the boat, by 9%.  This is not something an owner or mortgage holder would willingly accept without force of regulation.

Yes except they were carrying 34 out of 46 paying berths. So in practice the loss is probably some much smaller fraction than that, if at all.

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5 hours ago, Lark said:

S Not in Nowhere'sville  Missouri.   I forget the chain.   She actually left me alone in the continental breakfast to take her kid to school.   If management didn't pay for a second person I'm quite sure they didn't pay her to stay up all night.  

Back to my question of last night.   Does the law require a watch for this class of boat?   Assuming it had alarm systems that failed (either faulty, or the wires just burned in the fire before the alarm in a different location was triggered), to what extent are alarms considered adequate?    I'm sure this is a letter of the law vs the spirit of the law, but a large anchored vessel almost certainly doesn't have management paying people to walk the bilges every hour looking for water, walking the corridors smelling for smoke and taking bearings on the lights to make sure they aren't drifting.  How often does the night watch of an anchored ship actually check these things?   How many compartments do they check on a large ship during a night?   I'll wager a night shift is given reports to file, maintenance to perform and serves as a watch in name only.   A designated crew member napping with hourly checks would provide exactly as much security as a watch confined to his desk most of the night.  

A commercial vessel with paid passengers? Enough to ensure the safety of the passengers and any cargo.  In this case the crew, captain, and owners failed that duty and tasks while they were sleeping behind close doors together.  

 

George Washington would have shot them for the  derelictions.    In 2019 the guilty will be tried on CNN and another 1000 media channels.  The defense attorneys of the  various underwriters will demand everyone keep their mouth shut.        5 paid hands survived.  The truth will leak to the surface. 

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18 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Yes except they were carrying 34 out of 46 paying berths. So in practice the loss is probably some much smaller fraction than that, if at all.

Some spew like all stairs, ladders, and passageways are all the same.  The modern paying dive passenger is not your healthy foredeck or sewer dude.  Many cannot climb a regular rung later just before lunch in daylight.

 

The crew went to sleep in their separate closed door berthing space and woke up after something got well out of hand. No person was stationed or one watch on the primary middle deck. 

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The Conception's certificate of inspection required a roving watchman, US Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester said at a news conference. 

"The role of that person is to rove and check on the safety of the area they have been placed in charge of," she said.

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12 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

The Conception's certificate of inspection required a roving watchman, US Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester said at a news conference. 

"The role of that person is to rove and check on the safety of the area they have been placed in charge of," she said.

You can see why captains might want to go down with the ship... The board of inquiry is going to be rough.      Even if cleared it would be unimaginably difficult to reconcile what has happened here. 

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Well, at the end of the day, the Captain is totally responsible for the safety of the passengers and crew.  Given all passengers are deceased, and 1 crew is deceased as well, it would seem the Captain totally and completely failed to fulfill his/her responsibility.

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The deceased crew was apparently asleep as well when the fire was discovered.

Here are some of the players. I feel bad for all involved, including the Captain, who is the  one to be held fully accountable for the severity of the tragedy. The owners would have no idea that there was no night watch unless they instructed the Captain to abandon protocol for the sake of sleep, which most likely didn’t happen.

It could be that after decades of safe passage, they just got lazy as to safety procedures or that the night watch just fell asleep at 3am after a bunch of partying with the guests after a night dive.

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9 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Yes except they were carrying 34 out of 46 paying berths. So in practice the loss is probably some much smaller fraction than that, if at all.

Wow.   More surprises.    25% vacancy on a holiday weekend.    Something else to investigate, was the business struggling or did they have to cut capacity due to a labor shortage?  Both would circle back to the watch questions.   

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6 hours ago, jo forthan said:

zonker or anyone, do you know who designed and built this boat and where, and what were the engines

 designed by one of the co-founders of the company in 1980 built of wood. I don't know the shipyard. You can find him talking about this tragedy. His name begins with R I think his last initial is H. He's 75 years old and no longer active in the company. Engines for diesel I haven't looked up what kind.

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54 minutes ago, Lark said:

Wow.   More surprises.    25% vacancy on a holiday weekend.    Something else to investigate, was the business struggling or did they have to cut capacity due to a labor shortage?  Both would circle back to the watch questions.   

I think you’re speculating too much at this point. Please let’s keep to the facts and let the investigation reveal what it reveals.

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1 hour ago, Lark said:

Wow.   More surprises.    25% vacancy on a holiday weekend.    Something else to investigate, was the business struggling or did they have to cut capacity due to a labor shortage?  Both would circle back to the watch questions.   

The boat was chartered by a group for this trip, not sold by the birth, so groundless speculation.

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Listed as Detroit Diesel.

I once was reading by candle light (I know, how quaint) on an old wooden schooner, fell asleep, awoke to find my berth aflame. Spooky.

A management problem is sleep for the off watch, they just concluded a night dive, did the off watch get undisturbed rest? Did they plan for that?

Capacity is illusory often, worked a little on a boat rated for 40 but we rarely exceeded 30, we talked about the comfortable load being 20 or less.

Berths and access on vessels have traditionally been cramped, ADA standards don't apply. The ability of many to climb a ladder is questionable, one reason people used to retire at 50. There are some gaps between modern expectations and reality. Recently was on a 300' ship, hold access was down a 30' ladder, not all the parties were comfortable with the climb, particularly the transition at the hatch. Sailors used to be agile.

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:04 AM, nolatom said:

 

Is there some requirement keeping the head/shower area completely separate from berthing? If there had been a door into heads that compartment looked to have a stairway up to the foredeck area.

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:54 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

Sorry, I don't know what that means.

For fuck’s sake. You were always the first to lob shit at people if you thought it’d get hits for Scot. Get the fuck off your high horse. You two idiots never gave a shit about facts. That’s why we can’t even say ************ on this site. The fat bitch owns you two. 

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8 hours ago, Lark said:

Wow.   More surprises.    25% vacancy on a holiday weekend.    Something else to investigate, was the business struggling or did they have to cut capacity due to a labor shortage?  Both would circle back to the watch questions.   

Doing a multi day dive trip is not cheap. I doubt they ever fill the boat on a 3 day dive trip unless it is a private club charter.

I can see the wack jobs in Sacramento passing legislation to make it so expensive to dive at the Channel Islands, the sport will be for those who own boats only. The safety requirements will make it a wealthy persons sport only.

Though, Looking at those old boats (commissioned in 81), I wonder why there was never a side hatch in the hull to allow egress in this situation? It would not have been to tough to put a waterproof exit in the side (both). Maybe a few berths would have to be sacrificed.

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2 hours ago, longy said:

Is there some requirement keeping the head/shower area completely separate from berthing? If there had been a door into heads that compartment looked to have a stairway up to the foredeck area.

No, but it just worked out that the heads were forward of the collision bulkhead. It does help keep the smell out of the rest of the boat.

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1 hour ago, Meat Wad said:

Doing a multi day dive trip is not cheap. I doubt they ever fill the boat on a 3 day dive trip unless it is a private club charter.

I can see the wack jobs in Sacramento passing legislation to make it so expensive to dive at the Channel Islands, the sport will be for those who own boats only. The safety requirements will make it a wealthy persons sport only.

Though, Looking at those old boats (commissioned in 81), I wonder why there was never a side hatch in the hull to allow egress in this situation? It would not have been to tough to put a waterproof exit in the side (both). Maybe a few berths would have to be sacrificed.

That is problematic in so many ways, but there were plenty of other things that could have been done. See my detailed posts upthread. It isn't in California's jurisdiction though. This is a federal matter. Is there some way CA would gain jurisdiction? RI did assert state's rights on some aspects of commercial shipping regs in RI in the late 90s (fallout from the Ekloff Disaster).

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23 hours ago, Special Ed said:

A boat will have a fire alarm system, required like any commercial building. There will be smoke detectors and likely heat detectors in the galley. This boat did not have sprinklers, don’t know the regulations as to when it’s required.  When one smoke goes off the all the strobes and alarms go off.

We all know the fire triangle, fuel, oxygen and ignition source.  What fuel source was there that rapidly spread across the boat?  The commercial smoke detectors are designed to reduce false alarms with multiple way to verify its smoke. They work pretty well and for commercial buildings require an annual inspection by a trained professional. They use canned smoke to test the devices and system. A smoke detector relies on the smoke to rise to it, so in a large warehouse might take a while, but normal ceilings not so long

Toxic gases: CO is one but others can occur on a boat. Most of us are familiar with propane and gasoline both heavier than air and sink. They are of course flammable, but there could have been others  and of course a fire will produce significant toxic gases, but usually the fire system is activated by then.

I have to wonder if the people sleeping were already overcome before the fire erupted.  Those higher up were less affected by it and thus able to react.  The person on watch could have been diminished in capacity resulting from exposure  

i am only offering possibilities that support a crew that their only option was to save themselves  as it was too late for any other action

 

I have to clarify this; as a professional involved in the fire service, you're wrong on pretty much every point. Please don't make shit up that you clearly just don't know about. 

The only point I'll bother of clearing up is that one about people peacefully slumbering to their deaths. I would be that every single person was awake, and at best they passed out in a terrible coughing panic before being burned alive, though I'm not sure that all of them would have. 

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56 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

. It isn't in California's jurisdiction though. This is a federal matter. Is there some way CA would gain jurisdiction? 

That is soooooo funny.

You obviously are not in the great hate of kalifornia.

Edit: to clarify, for example San Francisco just declared the NRA a terrorist organization, which was not in their jurisdiction either. Politicians here just do whatever the popular mood is w/o regard to legality, morality or jurisdcition: as long as it gets votes, it's good.

There is no doubt in my mind that new regs are on the way - if you want your license you must comply.

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15 minutes ago, Parma said:

That is soooooo funny.

You obviously are not in the great hate of kalifornia.

Edit: to clarify, for example San Francisco just declared the NRA a terrorist organization, which was not in their jurisdiction either. Politicians here just do whatever the popular mood is w/o regard to legality, morality or jurisdcition: as long as it gets votes, it's good.

There is no doubt in my mind that new regs are on the way - if you want your license you must comply.

California, not the right coast, leads the country.  Buckle up and expect intelligent government.

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I've not chimed in on this thread, waiting for definitive info on how it happened (possibly months now), which given the immolation of the boat may never be forensically determined.  That being said, it's obvious a rapid fire trapped and gassed persons down below and they never had a chance.

I'll take 3 steps back and say that 40 passenger dive/fishing boats in So Cal. have an exemplary safety record,  many hundreds of thousands of client trips over the last 50 years, a record close to commercial airline safety, and much better than the risk you take driving on So Cal freeways to get to the boat. This fire/sinking while at anchor is an extremely rare anomaly.

I'm not denying it's a tragedy, only that we chill and realize the risk/reward ratio of 3 days of primo commercial dive experiences at Santa Cruz Island has a very low risk, will continue to be so and more stringent government  safety regs. may not make it incrementally safer, just much more expensive.  Let's not go there, the medium boat sized charter fleets are safety oriented and have a stellar track record.

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1 hour ago, axolotl said:

I've not chimed in on this thread, waiting for definitive info on how it happened (possibly months now), which given the immolation of the boat may never be forensically determined.  That being said, it's obvious a rapid fire trapped and gassed persons down below and they never had a chance.

I'll take 3 steps back and say that 40 passenger dive/fishing boats in So Cal. have an exemplary safety record,  many hundreds of thousands of client trips over the last 50 years, a record close to commercial airline safety, and much better than the risk you take driving on So Cal freeways to get to the boat. This fire/sinking while at anchor is an extremely rare anomaly.

I'm not denying it's a tragedy, only that we chill and realize the risk/reward ratio of 3 days of primo commercial dive experiences at Santa Cruz Island has a very low risk, will continue to be so and more stringent government  safety regs. may not make it incrementally safer, just much more expensive.  Let's not go there, the medium boat sized charter fleets are safety oriented and have a stellar track record.

No, it’s not obvious how fast the fire was, because everyone was ASLEEP! No one was on watch, which is a major fail. I’d say a criminal fail. 

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2 hours ago, axolotl said:

I've not chimed in on this thread, waiting for definitive info on how it happened (possibly months now), which given the immolation of the boat may never be forensically determined.  That being said, it's obvious a rapid fire trapped and gassed persons down below and they never had a chance.

I'll take 3 steps back and say that 40 passenger dive/fishing boats in So Cal. have an exemplary safety record,  many hundreds of thousands of client trips over the last 50 years, a record close to commercial airline safety, and much better than the risk you take driving on So Cal freeways to get to the boat. This fire/sinking while at anchor is an extremely rare anomaly.

I'm not denying it's a tragedy, only that we chill and realize the risk/reward ratio of 3 days of primo commercial dive experiences at Santa Cruz Island has a very low risk, will continue to be so and more stringent government  safety regs. may not make it incrementally safer, just much more expensive.  Let's not go there, the medium boat sized charter fleets are safety oriented and have a stellar track record.

Agreed, a lot of USCG rules are based on past accidents.......no accidents, no rules

now, a sleeping area for ~40 people with only 2 exits might be fine if there was a full sprinkler system......once the fire gets going you have to evacuate all those people through a hatch, say it takes 15 seconds a person, that’s 10 minutes to evacuate everyone, it’s just not going to happen 

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11 hours ago, Training Wheels said:

No, it’s not obvious how fast the fire was, because everyone was ASLEEP! No one was on watch, which is a major fail. I’d say a criminal fail. 

You nailed that one.  The crew, captain, and owners will be slow roasted.  The underwriter will simply pay out the policy limits and disappear. In a few years small charter boats will disappear  or look very, very diffferent.

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15 hours ago, bodega87 said:

I have to clarify this; as a professional involved in the fire service, you're wrong on pretty much every point. Please don't make shit up that you clearly just don't know about. 

The only point I'll bother of clearing up is that one about people peacefully slumbering to their deaths. I would be that every single person was awake, and at best they passed out in a terrible coughing panic before being burned alive, though I'm not sure that all of them would have. 

This boat was designed and built before the days of smoke detectors.  The result the boat was outfitted with $9.99 independent battery operated devices like you find at Home Depot or Walgreens.  After disturbing the guest and help in the past.  Likely the batteries were removed.  #RealWorld     

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15 hours ago, hasher said:

California, not the right coast, leads the country.  Buckle up and expect intelligent government.

I hope you're right, and I won't be personally impacted , but I fear a whole new set of regulations for not only dive boats but fishing, whale watching and even smaller 6pac boats simply because some unknowing individual wants to make a name for themselves or because they want to share their moral outrage..

Might not be a big deal ; don't know how easily those boats will be able to absorb those costs. Compliance could very well be the bigger issue.

I just hate it when I see people unnecessarily put upon, so I hope you're right. 

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43 minutes ago, Parma said:

I hope you're right, and I won't be personally impacted , but I fear a whole new set of regulations for not only dive boats but fishing, whale watching and even smaller 6pac boats simply because some unknowing individual wants to make a name for themselves or because they want to share their moral outrage..

Might not be a big deal ; don't know how easily those boats will be able to absorb those costs. Compliance could very well be the bigger issue.

I just hate it when I see people unnecessarily put upon, so I hope you're right. 

There's a reason the NTSB makes a thorough investigative process.

Do note that in the fire on a T boat in Florida in 2018, NTSB mentioned that the CG had not acted on all the NTSB recommendations from an earlier fire with the same company -- in I think 2004. Sometimes the CG does not act on the NTSB recommendations.

But some changes would be very good without costing much. The tragedy of course is that a better design relative to evacuation combined with a more comprehensive alarm system combined with an effective watch would have prevented this tragedy. If the watch had failed but the alarm system was effective, and the evacuation routes actually redundant, you would be reading about a rescue at sea, not a recovery of bodies. Somehow toxic smoke went undetected until people were dead, the boat was post flashover or both. That is not supposed to happen. The intent of the regulations in subchapter T was to provide a margin of safety. It didn't. And therefore the investigation is extremely important. All this hand-wringing over "losing" the dive boat industry is terribly premature. Let's get this right.

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16 hours ago, axolotl said:

I've not chimed in on this thread, waiting for definitive info on how it happened (possibly months now), which given the immolation of the boat may never be forensically determined.  That being said, it's obvious a rapid fire trapped and gassed persons down below and they never had a chance.

I'll take 3 steps back and say that 40 passenger dive/fishing boats in So Cal. have an exemplary safety record,  many hundreds of thousands of client trips over the last 50 years, a record close to commercial airline safety, and much better than the risk you take driving on So Cal freeways to get to the boat. This fire/sinking while at anchor is an extremely rare anomaly.

I'm not denying it's a tragedy, only that we chill and realize the risk/reward ratio of 3 days of primo commercial dive experiences at Santa Cruz Island has a very low risk, will continue to be so and more stringent government  safety regs. may not make it incrementally safer, just much more expensive.  Let's not go there, the medium boat sized charter fleets are safety oriented and have a stellar track record.

But the Lawyers will fuck it up for everyone.

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On 9/6/2019 at 7:57 PM, Lark said:

Of course eliminating three berths cuts the lifetime earning potential, therefore the value of the boat, by 9%.  This is not something an owner or mortgage holder would willingly accept without force of regulation.

Only if it was always at capacity - which it wasn't.

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2 hours ago, W9GFO said:

Only if it was always at capacity - which it wasn't.

Others raised good points about comfortable capacity vs berth space, since the customer pays for an experience instead of mere transportation like an airliner.   I had assumed recreational excursions would be booked solid on a holiday weekend, presumably one of their busiest weekends of the year.    Failure to successfully book the boat could reflect on deeper issues.   Perhaps not.   The berths as designed could be in excess of the working capacity of the boat, in which case a simple renovation to improve the customer experience and increase safety should have been made years ago.   There are always choke points in any operation.   Insufficient demand, insufficient labor, insufficient capacity at some point of the service (galley, dive group size, bunks available, etc.   if it was demand cash could have been tight.   I’d it was labor, watches could have been sacrificed or overwork caused somebody to fall asleep on duty.   I’d it was simply poor design of the boat and more bunks then she could service in customers, then I agree the obvious solution in hindsight would have been to tear out a stack of bunks and add something more useful to the customers while  making evacuation easier.

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6 minutes ago, Lark said:

Others raised good points about comfortable capacity vs berth space, since the customer pays for an experience instead of mere transportation like an airliner.   I had assumed recreational excursions would be booked solid on a holiday weekend, presumably one of their busiest weekends of the year.    Failure to successfully book the boat could reflect on deeper issues.   Perhaps not.   The berths as designed could be in excess of the working capacity of the boat, in which case a simple renovation to improve the customer experience and increase safety should have been made years ago.

Somebody earlier mentioned that the boat had been chartered by a single group for Labor Day and was not sold on a person-by-person basis.  

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What was the capacity of the Great Escape when Captain Tim ran it ?  I seem to remember center bunks only two high and the cabins were certainly only two high with the top bunk being a single ?  I do remember thinking it could still trap you if it started sinking and I do not remember any mention of an escape hatch but I assume there must have been ?  Captain Tim ran such a great operation (with a great crew) that I put aside the somewhat uneasy feeling down below.

 

-Sven

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I read that post after I posted my conjecture.  Another possible explanation.   

Edit.   This also means that reducing bunk space would have affected the value of the boat when it wasn’t chartered by a single group.     An owner could not be expected to do so without clear reason,   As the safety record was good prior to this, and here were no regulations forcing them to decrease revenue, there would be no incentive for the owner to take a pay cut.   

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We don't know how long the fire may have been smoldering and generating CO before it was discovered.  Basically, the discovery time is not the start time. So a crew member on watch could plausibly have been overcome by CO and unable to sound the alarm.  Has anyone explained why she was not with the rest of the crew?

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