Fire on dive boat Conception in CA

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Tesibria

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If there is no requirement or standard for materials to be fire retardant, then that's a major flaw in regs.
Question for the firefighters and related experts. Any thoughts on the accuracy of claims made in the "Toxic Hot Seat" documentary (which questioned both the efficacy of the retardants themselves and the relative benefits/risks, given their high toxicity).
 

Tesibria

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.... but some reports indicate that all the crew member survivors were in underwear. Not something you would think that that a required roving fire / anchor watch would be wearing in less than 60F temps at 0330.
Most news reports after first few hours (except those republishing the initial reports) said SOME were in their underwear. (E.g., here, here, and here and many more)
 

Bob DBF

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In Tobermory, there is a booming tour-boat business. For decades, a number of the boats were old wooden boats that were "historic" boats dating back to the '40s and '50s. There were a number of dive boats that were modified fish tugs.

Then one of these old tour boats was hit by a rogue wave. It flooded and quickly sank, taking two young people with it. During the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the Coast Guard had been "grandfathering" many of these old boats year after year.

My question would be, were the ships upgraded and inspected to carry passengers, at the time of conversion, or were they grandfathered and inspected for their origional use? If inspected for their origional use and actually used for for a different purpose, I see that as a serious governmental problem.

The Conseption was built and inspected for carrying pasengers, I don't know that the same design could not be built and passed the day before this accident. If there need to be changes, the NTSB will probably give some suggestions in their report.


Bob
 

Stoo

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My question would be, were the ships upgraded and inspected to carry passengers, at the time of conversion, or were they grandfathered and inspected for their origional use? If inspected for their origional use and actually used for for a different purpose, I see that as a serious governmental problem.

The boat that sunk was originally a tour boat, but it was from the early 50s. It was just a small boat so things like bulkheads weren't a thing then...
 

cerich

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Just a small clarification on a good post: Aluminum melts at 1,221°F/660.3°C. Stainless Steel melts between 2,540 and 2,642°F or
1,394 and 1,450°C (varies by alloy). Steel melts at around 1,370°C or 2,500°F (varies by alloy). I'm guessing that steel wasn't mentioned because it requires paint, which burns and outgasses toxic chemicals well below 1,100°F.

Of course they both are much more malleable at these temperatures so are highly compromised structurally.



Onshore? How about in your backyard? If a combustion source can burn up a boat it can burn down a house.
Before aluminum melts, it become so brittle it is unsafe. Alm decks and ladders in a fire are very, very dangerous.
 

KevinNM

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Just a small clarification on a good post: Aluminum melts at 1,221°F/660.3°C. Stainless Steel melts between 2,540 and 2,642°F or
1,394 and 1,450°C (varies by alloy). Steel melts at around 1,370°C or 2,500°F (varies by alloy). I'm guessing that steel wasn't mentioned because it requires paint, which burns and outgasses toxic chemicals well below 1,100°F.

Of course they both are much more malleable at these temperatures so are highly compromised structurally.



Onshore? How about in your backyard? If a combustion source can burn up a boat it can burn down a house.
I'm mixing F and C in my mind. 1100F is the high end when of where you'll get flashover. At 1100F everything organic in the room is emitting burnable gasses and just needs enough oxygen to ignite. In this fire it seems there was no shortage of oxygen. Actual major league structural fires are apparently significantly hotter, up to around 1000 C in a room undergoing flashover per NIST. ASTM E119 (a 'standard fire' chart) shows 538C (1000F) at 5 minutes, 704C (1300F) at 10 minutes, 843C (1550F) at 20 minutes.

Actual fire behavior depends on a lot of factors, and I don't see any good studies of how a fiberglass boat burns. But we know the plastics that are part of structural fiberglass will burn well once ignited and emit large amounts of what is considered fairly toxic smoke. Furthermore burning fiberglass yachts seem to be generally considered hard to extinguish once solidly ignited.
 

EricTheDood

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Before aluminum melts, it become so brittle it is unsafe. Alm decks and ladders in a fire are very, very dangerous.

Not brittle, but very weak. But yes, effectively the same end result for the user. That is, unusable.

Aluminum is an "age-hardening" metal. It is first "solution annealed" at high temperature, rapidly quenched in a water-based bath, then tempered at a much lower temperature, typically around 400 degrees F (T6 temper).

At over 1000F (the temperature of a fire), the heat treating is just about completely reversed and it becomes soft, gummy, and very weak. The reduction in strength is permanent until the aluminum structure is solution annealed and tempered again. That's why welded aluminum structures need to be heat treated.

316 stainless steel, on the other hand, maintains strength at much higher temperatures, and stands up to the corrosive properties of salt water. It's also a non hardenable alloy, so if it gets baked and then returns to room temperature, its properties aren't going to be affected much.
 

soldsoul4foos

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I find it strange that not one single passenger downstairs woke up early enough in this tragedy to do something, anything. If this fire started and slowly built up steam until it was a raging inferno, out of 34 people, not one woke up, was already awake, or something like that? My ex could literally wake up if I rolled over in bed sometimes. That part of this puzzle just seems odd to me.
 

tursiops

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I find it strange that not one single passenger downstairs woke up early enough in this tragedy to do something, anything. If this fire started and slowly built up steam until it was a raging inferno, out of 34 people, not one woke up, was already awake, or something like that? My ex could literally wake up if I rolled over in bed sometimes. That part of this puzzle just seems odd to me.
This appears to be why so many are speculating that asphyxiation/hypoxia was the cause of death. I hope so.
 

edm81363

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unlike airliners, there are no "cockpit recorders" or technical boat operation data recorders

While this small dive boat had no such technology, larger vessels such as cargo ships do have both voice and data recorders. The Remotely Operated Vehicle Jason from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was used to recover the recorders from the SS El Faro RoRo and that information was crucial to the investigation.
 
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