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Old 03-09-2019, 10:25   #16
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Where is it?



Above the bunks.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:31   #17
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

As a resident of the central California coast and someone who has done many dives from the Conception, I am shocked and heartbroken at the loss of life. Perhaps all of us on this forum can stop the speculation for the time being and simply remind ourselves That our shared passion for the ocean comes with a multitude of risks. While truth aquatics has an excellent safety record there’s always the possibility of failure or accident in any environment . If you believe in God, please say a prayer for the victims and their families. If not please put your hopes and thoughts out to the universe and keep your loved ones close. Take the time to inspect and renew the systems on your own boat that may have been overlooked for a while, especially electrical and fuel systems including propane gas. Fire blankets are one of the best tools we have for onboard fires on boats in addition to fire extinguishers. Keep them in your galley and engine spaces and remember that in a marine environment it is always prudent to be proactive, and not reactive.May the universe look out for and keep safe all those who are drawn to the sea.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:41   #18
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

For those interested, here is the link to the company's website with a description and interior layout below decks:
https://www.truthaquatics.com/conception/

Note that according to the website, the only gangway leads to the galley. Per one report, one of the crew and possibly the captain said there was an escape hatch over the bunks. I have not seen a description of the hatch.

The boat, per several former customers and others familiar with it, has a reputation for safety. Others have said the galley is all electric. Also, the dive boat only had minimal oxygen for first aid purposes. The tanks were filled with some system that did not need to store oxygen. The vessel also underwent a somewhat recent USCG inspection and was found to have no faults.

There is a report that one of the crew was below and is missing and presumed dead.

I have seen some discussion about the use of lithium batteries but I don't know if that was conjecture or first hand knowledge. I also don't know if this concerned the boat's equipment or passenger equipment.

My heart goes out to the families of those lost, as well as to the owners and operators who are connected to this. R.I.P.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:54   #19
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Just heard on the radio, the transcript of the emergency call with the CG apparently implies the crew member in the water was reporting passengers were somehow locked in.
Not all crew survived I think, but apparently all five survivors were crew.
No. You only heard the USCG responder's side of the conversation. He seemed to misunderstand that passengers were locked in.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:04   #20
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

I hate to contribute to all the conjecture but it would sound like a propane leak allowing unpressurized gas to accumulate below decks.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:17   #21
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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I hate to contribute to all the conjecture but it would sound like a propane leak allowing unpressurized gas to accumulate below decks.
Possibly, however at least one person who was on the vessel previously stated that the galley was electric. It is possible that they had propane for other uses.

Another posted that there are often a lot of devices using lithium batteries that are charging, crowded onto a table. These are also a likely source of trouble.

I guess we'll have to wait for the inevitable investigations to be completed.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:45   #22
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

I don't want to conjecture on this specific accident. But given the generic conditions of a lower deck rapidly catching fire with an apparent accelerant, and a galley above that deck, I would first suspect a propane leak.

I won't have propane on my boat. I'd feel more comfortable carrying dynamite aboard. Being so much heavier than air, it's insidious. Leak sensors have to be placed in the same areas - like the bilge - where they are vulnerable to seawater deactivation.

This is only my personal choice based on having once experienced a minor propane flash fire on a rental boat. I don't criticize others who accept the risks.
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Old 03-09-2019, 13:37   #23
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

Do propane explosions commonly cause fires? Most of the sailboats I have seen pictures of after propane explosions were not burned. The deck detached from the hull, yes, and with catastrophic damage. But a propane leak and resulting explosion do not seem to start large fires.

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Old 03-09-2019, 14:06   #24
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Do propane explosions commonly cause fires? Most of the sailboats I have seen pictures of after propane explosions were not burned. The deck detached from the hull, yes, and with catastrophic damage. But a propane leak and resulting explosion do not seem to start large fires.

Tankersteve
Here is a video by Yachting Monthly that demonstrates an LPG explosion. There was a flash fire but not a lot of fire after the explosion.


The crew of the M/V Conception did not mention any explosion. They did say however that when they went to get the passengers, the galley was in flames and they couldn't get anywhere near the gangway. They doesn't rule out a propane explosion of course, but along with the after the fire photo (shown in the article linked below) it seems less likely that there was an explosion. As others have said, I guess we'll have to wait for the report from the NTSB and any other agencies.


https://www.foxnews.com/us/californi...d-nine-missing
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:12   #25
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Note that according to the website, the only gangway leads to the galley. Per one report, one of the crew and possibly the captain said there was an escape hatch over the bunks. I have not seen a description of the hatch.
There is a photo of the hatch in this news story: https://www.10news.com/news/local-ne...for-colleagues.

In that story, a captain of a sister ship mentions lithium batteries. That sounds plausible to me. High energy density lithiums (not LFPs) used in cell phones and laptops are a real and valid safety concern. Once ignited, these lithium battery fires are practically impossible to extinguish. Here's an example: https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...down-building/.

The only countermeasure I can imagine is to tell passengers to: "please place your cell phones and laptops inside this catapult basket on the weather deck. If a fire starts, they will be flung overboard."
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:20   #26
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
There is a photo of the hatch in this news story: https://www.10news.com/news/local-ne...for-colleagues.


In that story, a captain of a sister ship mentions lithium batteries. That sounds plausible to me. High energy density lithiums (not LFPs) used in cell phones and laptops are a real and valid safety concern.

The lithium batteries now used in dive lights, strobes, and other equipment are much larger, hence more dangerous than cell phone and laptop batteries. Not that they are more likely to catch fire, but if they do they have a lot more energy than the smaller batteries.
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:22   #27
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
There is a photo of the hatch in this news story: https://www.10news.com/news/local-ne...for-colleagues.


In that story, a captain of a sister ship mentions lithium batteries. That sounds plausible to me. High energy density lithiums (not LFPs) used in cell phones and laptops are a real and valid safety concern.

Thank you for posting that. It really clarifies things. Wow, that would not be easy to find or get out of with limited visibility. Add to this a fire that is moving quickly, darkness, and being half asleep, I can see how so many could die.

There was a different article where someone mentioned they were on a number of dive charters and people had lots of devices charging their lithium batteries on a table. I agree with you that it is a very plausible possibility.
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:28   #28
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
I hate to contribute to all the conjecture but it would sound like a propane leak allowing unpressurized gas to accumulate below decks.
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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
I don't want to conjecture on this specific accident. But given the generic conditions of a lower deck rapidly catching fire with an apparent accelerant, and a galley above that deck, I would first suspect a propane leak.
Then don't. I know it's hard to resist but conjecture helps nobody. Further, the investigators are tasked with answering for ALL of the possibilities that the public bombards investigations with and the vast majority are time wasters. Some of the more memorable time wasters include:

For one 747 loss, we had to find a professor who could calculate the odds of being struck by a meteor.

An airplane hypothetically flying through a cloud of methane which became known as the whale fart theory.

The Arabic numbering system used for calculations and design was ruined by another culture so there were tolerance stack-ups. (You can't make this stuff up )

Criminal "hit" theories are pretty common.

And of course everybody wants to blame cell phones for everything these days. Even if an engine explodes.



Some people will kinda guess along the right lines but we're already there so not much time wasted.
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:30   #29
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
The lithium batteries now used in dive lights, strobes, and other equipment are much larger, hence more dangerous than cell phone and laptop batteries. Not that they are more likely to catch fire, but if they do they have a lot more energy than the smaller batteries.
Great point. I would also add that a lot of people buy aftermarket chargers made in communist China. Often these aftermarket chargers provide irregular current and can damage the batteries. I've seen a few articles about the risks associated with chargers that are built don't meet the manufacturer's specifications.
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:50   #30
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

The crew apparently escaped in the dinghy, so there was probably gasoline on board for the outboard. Since the Galley is reported as all electric and the genset diesel it is unlikely there would have been propane aboard. An inspected vessel that is in compliance probably has an isolated storage compartment for gasoline and it is unlikely that barring a major failure that gasoline could get below deck, but the unexpected does happen.



I know there are a lot of people who won't have propane on board, but the only person I know that lost his boat to fire lost it to an electrical fire and barely escaped with his life. He had no 120v on board at all and was at anchor, not plugged into a dock. Based on that maybe I should rip all that dangerous 12V stuff out of my boat.
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