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Legal considerations for the Fire on dive boat Conception in CA

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by onestep, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Russjstewart

    Russjstewart Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne
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    When you take into account the post from @ScubaLawyer in the A&I post less than 6 hours after the mayday was sent ( if I have the time zones right) where he said “Very sad day indeed. I have already received calls from distraught family members. My investigator is heading up there today”. It sounds like people on both sides are not waiting for the dust to settle be thinking about litigation



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    StefinSB and chillyinCanada like this.
  2. Lilespig

    Lilespig Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Baltimore, MD
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    What tonnage does this apply to? Escalators an elevators?

    Even before the fire, I would never have gone on a boat with this lay out no matter how good the reviews were just from the pictures of the tight quarters below waterline, with just one exit. The bunk room boats literally make me claustrophobic just looking at the pictures, and I don't gets scared of tight spaces. It's hard to believe this is the norm out in California, but I guess for 3 day trips it makes sense.
     
    Stoo likes this.
  3. Lilespig

    Lilespig Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    18
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    Looks like it's the only crew exit was from wheel house.

    Unconfirmed media reports indicate first crewman to notice fire allegedly reports he cooked and cleaned up galley then went up to bed in wheelhouse around 2:30. He wakes up 30 mins later by what he described as loud noise that 'sounded like someone tripping on the deck' below them. It's sometime after 3:00. He smells no smoke, hears no alarms, other crew are still asleep in their bunks in wheelhouse. Same crewmember gets up to investigate the noise, he exits wheel house to find stairs to wheelhouse fully engulfed. Those stairs are outside of the 4 walls of salon/galley. He somehow gets down to main deck and reports trying to gain entry to salon via front windows that won't open. All the doors are blocked by fire and are still shut, but through the glass doors he observes ceiling tiles on fire and falling to the floor, which would indicate that the fire is in an advanced state. To stay burning and growing it needed O2. I'm guessing/hoping it probably chewed up all of the air in the galley then stole all the O2 from the berthing area via open stairs, asphyxiating divers in their sleep.

    What draws my attention is that ladder, and the "thump noise". If the fire were that advanced that it had spread to outside the four walls of the galley to ignite and block the stairs from the berthing area, how is it that the crew member that heard the noise reports smelling no smoke, and not even seeing fire until he got to the stairs and tried to go down them? The floor under their wheelhouse should have been closer to the point of origin and burning through before exterior stairs. It doesn't make sense for an accidental fire that started in the galley area of the boat.
     
    danddmiller1 likes this.
  4. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    2,905
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    The doors to the salon are, per diver reports, not closed while the boat has guests. It's only closed when the boat is at the dock and locked up. The ladder is a steep staircase like thing that runs over the doorway.

    You can see it in the middle picture here: Fire on dive boat Conception in CA

    The fire probably had lots of oxygen, so it likely grew vastly faster then a typical house fire.
     
  5. Lilespig

    Lilespig Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    18
    15
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    Oh ok, thanks for clarifying. I thought an early report said the doors were closed but they could see through them, hence the confusion.
     
  6. Lilespig

    Lilespig Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    18
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    Does DAN insurance pay out if each of the divers had it?
     
  7. Slate

    Slate Banned

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    Interesting question, I looked it up. DAN will pay for the loss of scuba equipment if it's due to water or flood damage. So it would have had to have gotten flooded from the boat sinking, before it got burned. I guess they have ways of determining if that's actually what happened.
     
  8. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
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    they didn't when wave dancer went down. read current exclusions
     
    Lilespig likes this.
  9. EricTheDood

    EricTheDood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California
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    Negative, DAN insurance covers the dive(s) only, not the boat ride.

    https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/scuba-dive-insurance/files/handbook-g.pdf
     
    Lilespig likes this.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I expect that since we are all under the same syndicate, out of Lloyd’s, that all SPVs with overnight passengers will be effected, regardless of mission.
     

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