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Old 03-09-2019, 15:56   #31
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by tankersteve View Post
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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In the propane accident I experienced, there was a shipmate in the galley cooking with everyone else on deck. We heard a loud WOOF! I felt a hot pressure wave exit the companionway, which was open. It set the cabin curtains on fire, which were made of some thin taffeta material, blew both bilge covers into the overhead - denting the overhead, and singed every hair on her head. She ended up with flash burns like a mild sunburn, which weren't serious, but she was not happy about her lost hair. She had some temporary hearing loss, and itchy eyes (probably singed corneas). Had she inhaled burning gas, it would have been a medical emergency.

We ripped the burning curtains down and threw them overboard. Fire extinguishers were available, but we opted for the "remove the fuel" firefighting approach because the extinguisher chemicals would destroy everything they touch. And ripping the curtains down was quicker than grabbing an extinguisher.

Propane had leaked and accumulated in the bilge. The open companionway probably prevented structural damage.
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Old 03-09-2019, 16:00   #32
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

Thanks, that is what I thought.

I also read that the galley was electric. It doesn't mean they had no propane on board, but seems to make propane a less likely source of this tragedy.

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Old 03-09-2019, 16:43   #33
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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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.
I read an article that used a lot of data from BoatUS and the author said of the boat fires where a cause can be determined, something like 55% of the fires were caused by electrical fires. Of those, just over half had a problem with their shore power.
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Old 03-09-2019, 16:47   #34
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

Fox News reporting the below.

Quote:
The co-owner of a Santa Cruz-based diving company is missing after a scuba boat caught on fire early Monday and sunk off the coast of Southern California, leaving at least 25 dead and nine people missing as of Tuesday morning.

Kristy Finstad, 41, is a diving instructor and marine biologist who operates Worldwide Diving Adventures with her husband Dan Chua. She was aboard the Conception when it caught fire early Monday, according to a Facebook post by her brother, Brett Harmeling.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fox...ty-finstad.amp
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Old 03-09-2019, 16:58   #35
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

What a tragic, tragic loss of life. Godspeed and unlimited visibility to all who perished. Hug your loved ones people.
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Old 03-09-2019, 17:10   #36
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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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.
If anyone is foolish enough to believe I am an official accident investigator, then I have a Nigerian prince I'd like to introduce...

I see no harm in having a discussion, framed by this incident, regarding general safety issues. It's practically a duty for any prudent skipper to take a look at this tragic incident and learn whatever can be learned.

Like any prudent person, I will wait (a very long time) for the official report. But it's useful to review general lessons - like: "know your exists" and lithium batteries can fail catastrophically.

Even though we are not accident experts, nothing is gained by repressing a safety discussion because we don't yet have all the answers. That's called "analysis paralysis."
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Old 03-09-2019, 19:28   #37
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The loss of M/V Conception

Since we are speculating, any vessel with a 55 KW generator Iíd expect the valley to be electric, makes the most sense for a dive boat to have a monster generator and electric compressors, and be all electric.
The crew rowed the dinghy to the nearest boat for help, so perhaps no outboard and no motor, no gasoline?
But who would be cooking at 3 AM? And no conspiracy here, but why would five of the 6 person crew be awake at 3 AM? Or does the crew sleep topside?
If they filled tanks, and Iím sure they do, and if they provide Nitrox, and Iíd suspect they would as most quality dive operations do, then there is O2 onboard, I doubt an O2 concentrator that large exists?

Depending on how many tanks needed filling, they could have been filling tanks at 3 am, you figure 45 divers? Two tanks each as two tank dives are common, thatís 90 tanks, and that takes quite awhile to fill.
Iíd guess ten minutes a tank? Of course you would have a few whips to fill with.

None of this is disrespectful, we often speculate about accidents, and while we may not determine even the most likely cause, getting people thinking about safety issues and how they do things on their boat like store gasoline or a portable generator may make them make changes that are safer than current procedures.

I added a fire blanket to our galley or actually a little away from the galley after one of these accident discussions we have here, and bought AIS MOB devices after another discussion, so it does tend to make people think and maybe make them safer.
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Old 03-09-2019, 19:44   #38
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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But who would be cooking at 3 AM? And no conspiracy here, but why would five of the 6 person crew be awake at 3 AM? Or does the crew sleep topside?
Several news reports, and a few people who have been on that boat, said that the crew does indeed sleep on the bridge/upper level. They also said that one of the crew generally slept below in the passenger quarters and that they did lose that crewman.

One report said that the crew tried to go below but when they reached the galley, it was engulfed in flames and they were unable to get below. Per their website, the gangway lead up to the galley so it seems that the most likely escape route was blocked.

Captain Pat (at 18:12) posted a link to an article that has a photo of the emergency escape hatch for the passenger quarters. It will be immediately apparent how difficult it would be to exit that in darkness, with smoke swirling around, while half asleep.
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Old 03-09-2019, 19:56   #39
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

I wonder about the smoke detectors on this boat. They failed to give timely warning to the crew or passengers. You can only speculate at this point. The sister ship Vision has same setup so maybe it can help figure out what happened.
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Old 03-09-2019, 20:31   #40
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Several news reports, and a few people who have been on that boat, said that the crew does indeed sleep on the bridge/upper level. They also said that one of the crew generally slept below in the passenger quarters and that they did lose that crewman.

One report said that the crew tried to go below but when they reached the galley, it was engulfed in flames and they were unable to get below. Per their website, the gangway lead up to the galley so it seems that the most likely escape route was blocked.

Captain Pat (at 18:12) posted a link to an article that has a photo of the emergency escape hatch for the passenger quarters. It will be immediately apparent how difficult it would be to exit that in darkness, with smoke swirling around, while half asleep.
....and the brother of the galley cook said he would normally be cooking around 4am, which is about normal for most of the boats i've worked on with numbers like that, it's not just breakfast, they are usually preping meals for the rest of the day......cooks work long hours.

https://7news.com.au/news/world/cali...vered-c-434241

Quote:
An agonizing wait James Kohls waited anxiously to learn the fate of his brother, Mike Kohls, the galley cook and a deckhand on the Conception.

"It's very surreal at the moment," he told reporters. "They were going to let me know whether he was one of the survivors that got off."

He said Mike Kohls, a lifelong surfer and father of a daughter, is typically making breakfast for the passengers on the ship around 4 a.m. The 75-foot Conception was on a three-day trip and was slated to return Monday.
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Old 03-09-2019, 22:40   #41
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

FWIW: Even with the likely electric galley stove, they probably had a propane bbq on the aft deck... at least the dive boat I went on from SB many years ago did.

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Old 03-09-2019, 23:36   #42
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

If you go to the Truth Aquatics website they have a number of photos of the outdoor BBQ's...





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Old 04-09-2019, 01:56   #43
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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If you go to the Truth Aquatics website they have a number of photos of the outdoor BBQ's...







The top picture is definitely electric, or a strange propane one if itís gas.

I was probably 10 years old when I attended a demonstration about supplemental oxygen and flying, one of the demoís was someone smoking that exhaled O2 though a lit cigarette, it immediately burst into large flames that consumed it quickly.
Pure oxygen if there was any available will turn a small fire into something horrendous pretty much immediately, itís worse than throwing gasoline on a fire as O2 not only of course increases the flames, but also makes the fire burn very much hotter.
Of course being packed tightened like sardines makes it real tough to get out, sort of like a Commercial airplane Iím sure.

I took the course here at Jax NAS on ditching a helicopter many years ago, it was a cargo type helicopter mock up that they lowered into a pool and rolled it over, then everyone was to exit. Iím real comfortable in water so I sort of just sat back and watched, there wasnít but half a dozen of us in the trainer, but everyone trying for the door at the same time wasnít working out very well cause quite a few panicked, fear of drowning Iím sure.
I imagine that dive boat may have been similar, or maybe everyone was quickly overcome by smoke?
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Old 04-09-2019, 20:14   #44
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

Here is an ABC interview with a captain of a sister ship to Conception, Chris Connelly.

https://tinyurl.com/y6r8dwvg

It's raw video (very raw).

I really suggest watching it. The captain dispels a number of rumors - and describes the vessel well.

The accident seems even more mysterious to me after hearing his explanation.
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Old 04-09-2019, 20:47   #45
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Re: The loss of M/V Conception

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
Here is an ABC interview with a captain of a sister ship to Conception, Chris Connelly.

https://tinyurl.com/y6r8dwvg

It's raw video (very raw).

I really suggest watching it. The captain dispels a number of rumors - and describes the vessel well.

The accident seems even more mysterious to me after hearing his explanation.
So no propane at all.
Yes to gasoline, maybe 5 gallons plus what's in the RIB.
Yes Oxygen.

He oversells the escape hatch by calling it hatches and saying how accessible it was.

Look at this video at 0:21 and see how hard that would be in the dark and chaos. Impossible.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/h5WEmiOXY7g
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