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Old 09-21-2019, 06:55 PM
 
10,278 posts, read 4,821,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Come on. I am a very mature 265 pound male. Aside from perhaps needing help to get up on the bunk I would have no problem at all getting through that hatch. And I have lots of experience doing such things.

And you would be amazed at how fast I can crawl when the surround is on fire.

Most people have no such experience.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,701 posts, read 5,225,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Most people have no such experience.
Most people are not divers. Most divers are in that set of the population that will do well.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:04 PM
 
Location: California
1,794 posts, read 516,980 times
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That safety video didn’t do much for me. If that was just rolling on auto play I doubt I’d have paid much attention to it. I’d prefer a captain or crew directed tour physically pointing out things and explaining. I’d also like one or two people to access the escape hatch to see how it’s done. I’d even volunteer to do it just for practice. I’m thinking some changes will come about from all of this.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Most people are not divers. Most divers are in that set of the population that will do well.

So you think it is adequate?
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,701 posts, read 5,225,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
So you think it is adequate?
Nope. Should have led to the outside deck.

I am an engineer. If you did the fault analysis you would always move the escape hatch to the outside deck not the salon. But that is a problem with the requirements not the boat.

But I would still be of the opinion that the big problem is that a good sized fire got started without alarms going off. Unthinkable to me.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:24 PM
 
10,278 posts, read 4,821,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Nope. Should have led to the outside deck.

I am an engineer. If you did the fault analysis you would always move the escape hatch to the outside deck not the salon. But that is a problem with the requirements not the boat.

But I would still be of the opinion that the big problem is that a good sized fire got started without alarms going off. Unthinkable to me.

Despite most thinking it started in the salon, I still think it may have started in the berthing area. I'm not sure there were detectors down there and being two decls below the crew it would explain how the fire grew so large before they discovered it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,701 posts, read 5,225,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Despite most thinking it started in the salon, I still think it may have started in the berthing area. I'm not sure there were detectors down there and being two decls below the crew it would explain how the fire grew so large before they discovered it.
Any scenario I can think up some of the divers would have escaped. And we know when the crew discovered the fire the salon was fully engaged.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:30 PM
 
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The coroner has determined from the first 11 victims examined that no autopsies will be done since they all appeared to have died from smoke inhalation, not drowning or thermal destruction. I've worked in healthcare all my life. Those people never knew what happened. With all of the toxic fumes from burning materials in the confined bunk area and other stuff on board (fuel, Li batteries, gear/machinery) it is likely that they were never conscious. I think it's a moot point that they might have made it to an exit in the dark and smoke. There had to be enough soft tissue left for the coroner to ascertain that they died from smoke inhalation but likely fingerprints were not reliable ID in most cases and DNA is faster these days.

However, in a lesser situation it would probably be good for new regs to allow for egress to different areas on the boat, not both to the galley. And better smoke/heat detectors sounds like it is in order as well.

It's troubling if no crew member was awake. The cook reports going up top around 2:30 after shutting down the kitchen and checking for hot appliances. Then the fire is noticed at 3:15. That's not much time, and even if no one was technically the watchman, I doubt that they were all sound asleep. Their account sounds like they tried everything in their power and control to assist before saving themselves. They called the mayday, went to the front, went as far back as they could, swam to the back, swam to those little windows at the waterline, and then retreated to the dingy. Once they off-boarded the injured crew they headed back to the boat to look for anyone in the water as it was clear that no one additionally was getting out. You can always hope, but it was not in their favor.

Whether the fire started from electronics charging (in the bunks or in the galley) or some sort of electrical problem on the boat will hopefully be determined by the NTSB, but only after possibly 18-24 months of research. Wiring fails, especially in salt water environments. I don't know anyone who hasn't felt their charging cell phone get hot, let alone some high powered batteries for large camera equipment, diving devices, and computers.

What do I know about this boat? The same diagrams as everyone here has seen. My daughter, a marine biologist, did her open water certification on the Conception. By her report, safety and dive briefings were sufficient and complete. The boat was extremely clean and well taken care of. The crew was knowledgeable and efficient. She even came home from the trip with a few new techniques to help her cope with traveling in open water and choppy seas. Many of the people on the boat this time were frequent guests and knew the Conception well. Even the dive boats she traveled in the Gulf of Mexico are all designed the same, guests sleep below deck since it is quieter and less choppy, crew sleeps up top.

Instead of placing blame (nothing can bring these people back, the boat owner is going to be bankrupted soon I'm sure, and insurance pay outs have limitations and take years, the crew is undoubtedly reliving every second and remembering every person they got to know during the 3-day cruise) perhaps this tragedy can be used to make things safer in the future. The aftermath of this will go on for years. What caused it? How could it have been prevented? Can we make changes to infrastructure or behavior?

The families of the victims are struggling with new normals. They have gotten a phone call that no one ever wishes to get, fulfilled a request for DNA to ID their loved one(s), traveled to Santa Barbara to retrieve vehicles and personal effects, waited days in hotel rooms for the positive ID before making final arrangements for remains and funerals. Final death certificates cannot even be issued until the criminal case is concluded. Without final death certificates (usually in these cases it will say "under investigation" until the case is closed) the families cannot access benefits, banks accounts, etc. The surviving crew must surely be traumatized beyond anything imaginable. It appears that all victims have now been identified and remains have been released to families. The sheriff of Santa Barbara, the Coast Guard crew, and the investigators spoke with each family. The county set up an assistance center for families to receive services and has reportedly offered information for counseling and moving forward with more practical problems such as funeral arrangements and how to handle insurance and other benefits. Now they will spend the next months sorting out the physical, emotional, financial possessions of their loved ones.

As a healthcare professional I have found myself in circumstances where every split second decision may affect the life of myself or another. Some things you just can't "drill" for ahead of time. You have to trust co-workers to do their best. I've always appreciated my co-workers in trying times and celebrated or grieved with them afterwards. This crew did the best they could with the situation and resources at hand that night. IMO, I would never fault any of them for "not trying hard enough." They will live with the "what ifs" for the rest of their lives.

It's complicated.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:36 PM
 
21,748 posts, read 17,216,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
There is a an excellent overview of it along with diagrams in this article. There are stairs that are the normal ingress/egress and then there is a tiny square escape hatch in the top of one of the bunks. I doubt you could get 34 passengers out the escape hatch in less than 30 minutes if it was practice with the lights on. They both lead into the salon. Let's see if these images will paste.





And here is the escape hatch you're supposed to find in pitch black (power out and cabin filling with smoke).
That is very helpful, thanks.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:45 PM
 
21,748 posts, read 17,216,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Come on. I am a very mature 265 pound male. Aside from perhaps needing help to get up on the bunk I would have no problem at all getting through that hatch. And I have lots of experience doing such things.

And you would be amazed at how fast I can crawl when the surround is on fire.
The problems come when there are a lot of people. You can’t go fast because there are 33 other people. Even if they are in continuous motion, it still could be several minutes getting everyone up. I was in a hotel once on a high floor, when the fire alarms went off and they told us on a speaker to evacuate. Once we got to the stairwell and started heading down it slowed to a crawl, because there were many floors below us and all of them headed to the same stairwell. There were passages of minutes where we weren’t moving at all (like a traffic jam on the highway). That’s when it got scary, because we didn’t know what the situation was. You’re in fight or flight and mind is screaming “Run!” but you can only wait and try to tamp down the panic. It probably took 20+ minutes to get outside, if there had been a fire near us we’d have been screwed.
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