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Old 09-12-2019, 02:38 PM   #1
Bob Ballew
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Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

...Those of us who questioned how the fire could spread so far, so quick, unless it was a propane or battery explosion, were probably on the right track. Today, the Coast Guard issued new recommendations ( pending the start of new rules) for the following: limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries, as well as the use of power strips and extension cords. The big legal hurtle to be addressed is whether anyone was on watch. If not, the big money sharks will attack in full force..
...The bulletin also recommended that owners/operators review emergency duties with the crew, identify emergency escapes, check all firefighting and lifesaving equipment and look at the condition of passenger accommodations.
...The Aquatics crews have been proactive on all the above checks for years, resulting in an excellent safety record. The battery issue is a new player in town and creates something new for all of us to learn from. No human being can know everything. We have to learn as we go and sometimes, there is a cost.....
...I expect that new regulations will require a second escape route, probably requiring owners to cut and place a secondary hatch for exits from both ends of the boat. This could create another government Catch-22 (running you in a circle to back where you started).
...Altering the design of the original boat plan can also get you in jail. A novice female diver died when a boat went down and she was unable to escape. The captain was convicted of negligence for altering the front of the boat in a way not in the original design.
...So, any structural changes may require an owner to go to the expense of hiring an architect and an engineer to design it and a contractor to implement construction. Another issue, potentially compromising boat safety, is that cutting holes increases the possibility of flooding in bad weather. Many a boat has gone down within sight of land when headon waves broke a forward hatch loose and took out the windows, flooding the forward compartment and sinking the boat. Sometimes, you have to turn away from land, go with the waves and head out to sea in order to survive. Inexperienced captains would buck the waves and perhaps, everyone would die as a result...
...Once, coming in from SCI with a load of abalone, I got caught in a wind storm with big waves from Santa Ana winds. To stay afloat, I had to make a dangerous 180 degree turn and go with the waves, ending up near San Nicolas island. Fortunately, I had enough fuel to make it back to land after the winds let down by evening....Another lesson from the Ocean Siren's call....My name should have been on a tombstone long ago...except for luck of the draw..
...6 p.m. The hull was successfully raised in one piece. The final missing diver's body, a 16 year old female; was located in a cove one-third mile away.
...

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 09-12-2019 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
Bwano
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Bob. Thanks for all your input here.
I don't believe it was a Lithium battery fire...yet. It could have been. A crew member stated that an extension cord was even snaked down the emergency egress hatch. Not cool. I have seen many Lithium Ion explosion videos now, (on the internet) since the accident. I didn't know how dangerous they were.

I do feel that no one would have lost their lives, if a Crew member had been on watch. And I feel strongly, this is criminal negligence.

I have done a little research on Co2 poisoning/asphyxiation, etc. If a fire broke out in the engine compartment, and the fixed fire suppression system exhausted, the Co2 could have conceivably been drawn into the galley, then the bunks, by the ventilation system. Co2, in a threshold concentration can result in unconsciousness in under a minute. There are accounts of Marine fires in reports on the NTSB website, where fires started on the Generator.

In Clevenger's Safety video, that was made for the Conception, you can see a 5 gallon plastic gasoline container, for the dingy, sitting on deck near the stern. There also appears to be a Gasoline locker, on the stern right behind this can, for said gasoline.

The latest accounts say the crew jumped overboard, swam to the stern, and opened the engine room hatch, and saw no fire. Why on earth did the crew open the engine hatch, when 34 people were burning alive in the bunk? They could have grabbed a fire extinguisher there, or off the deck.

They did not discharge a single fire extinguisher, that was available in the wheelhouse, like on the stairs from the top deck, more fire extinguishers should have been on deck.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Any additional exit could emerge in a small “conning tower” arrangement on deck. That stops anything being put on top of it and water sluicing over the deck going down the escape hatch. The existing hatch emerged in a small cupboard inside the undercover section of the vessel, so it is the same idea. I think that regulations will put such escape routes to the test. The throughput of people exiting will need to be evaluated. It is one thing for an orderly conga line of passengers to patiently clamber out, it is another for people in absolute panic of losing their lives desperately trying to get out. People vary, there will always be those steely types who take charge and control others exiting before exiting themselves at no small risk to their own lives, it is a big task, heroes often emerge at such desperate times, but their presence cannot be relied on.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:00 AM   #4
sealark
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Why did the fire spread so fast? Was there oxygen cylinders on board for mixing nitrox? If there was the blowout plugs could hane blown and greatly contributed to a raging uncontrolable fire.

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Old 09-15-2019, 03:34 PM   #5
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Quote:
Originally Posted by sealark View Post
Why did the fire spread so fast? Was there oxygen cylinders on board for mixing nitrox? If there was the blowout plugs could hane blown and greatly contributed to a raging uncontrolable fire.

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They used a membrane system to provide their oxygen enriched air (Nitrox), so bar some oxygen in a medical resuscitation unit there was no oxygen stored on the boat in tanks. Thoughts have been focussing on the lithium ion batteries as battery packs usually contain a bunch of cells inside that are all interconnected. When a cell overheats and blows up its pals in the pack soon follow suit and these can bounce around like incendiaries lighting up whatever they touch. Laptops that have gone up have sent cells flying in all directions while disgorging their burning contents. Often this has been associated with a replacement battery pack that is not OEM, but a replacement made by some other entity.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
Bob Ballew
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

9/19- The Coast Guard has released a statement to the effect that all crew members were asleep, in violation of C.G. regs that require a live watch on board, at all times, on all passenger for hire vessels, when the passengers are on board. A scary finding for the young crew members and a financial disaster for the boat owners, if it holds up in court...
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
popgun pete
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

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Originally Posted by Bob Ballew View Post
9/19- The Coast Guard has released a statement to the effect that all crew members were asleep, in violation of C.G. regs that require a live watch on board, at all times, on all passenger for hire vessels, when the passengers are on board. A scary finding for the young crew members and a financial disaster for the boat owners, if it holds up in court...
All asleep when around 2.30 a.m. a crew member checked the galley area to ensure all was off? The fire starts about a half hour later, or some time within that half hour and a battery popping could take all of a couple of minutes, turn your back and up it goes.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:55 AM   #8
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Things start to be spoken about as lawyer moves in for injured crewman wanting to file lawsuit. https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/...at-sues-owner/
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

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Things start to be spoken about as lawyer moves in for injured crewman wanting to file lawsuit. https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/...at-sues-owner/
""was required to jump from the top deck of the vessel to avoid fire,” fracturing his leg in three places, injuring his back and neck"

Ouch man
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Best graphic that I have seen so far. The time is wrong, should be at least half an hour later.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

Another takeaway from the Conception fire:
If you're involved in a fatality during an accident, it might pay to keep your mouth shut when the PD or NTSB or whoever it is shows up. Otherwise you might wind up in jail for breaking some law you didn't even know about, or even for perjury if you contradict a couple of witnesses with a different viewpoint or who just plain lie. Typically the PD gets interviews ASAP with witnesses separated, looking for violations or contradictions.
YOU may be the only witness to YOUR OWN crime and send YOURSELF to JAIL. The PD can also lie to you with impunity and often do so as inducement to incriminate yourself.
So mebbe take the 5th at least until any criminal trial or investigation when your attorney will demand immunity for testimony? Not an attorney BTW and this ain't legal advice.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

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Originally Posted by Mana'squal View Post
""was required to jump from the top deck of the vessel to avoid fire,” fracturing his leg in three places, injuring his back and neck"

Ouch man
In other news, the doctor told him to take a tylenol and walk it off because rich white kids are overdosing on heroin.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:07 AM   #13
popgun pete
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

A permanent memorial is in the works.
https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3...XmUgeu2LYXgsow
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:01 AM   #14
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Re: Conception Fire Update: 9/12/19

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
A permanent memorial is in the works.
https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3...XmUgeu2LYXgsow
Glad to see that.
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