UPDATE: 34 Dead in California Dive Boat Fire - all victims recovered.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
DaMuleRules wrote:
They have discovered 17 more victims. I have heard from the guy who heads the group of divers I have been diving with for the last 20+ years and is the lead investigator of diving accidents for LA County that at least one of the victims is from our group, though he won't say who until the list of victims is released publicly. Not sure if it is anyone I know.


wow, I hate to hear that....sure you have been racking your brain with names and faces since it happened checking people off. I am hesitant to say this because outside of a few media reports, I do not know the in depth story, but I saw an older man and woman being interviewed today on television (I think it said he was the owner?), and my gut was skeptical of his statements for some reason. I can't pinpoint what was bothering me, and maybe the guy was still in some form of shock, but I will be interested to see what is learned in the investigation.


I haven't seen the owners comment as of yet, and I think I would have because all I have been doing for the last 36 hours is follow various message boards and exchanging texts with people in the community.

You may have seen the couple that were the other boat in the cove and took on the 5 survivors - though obviously I don't know who you saw because I didn't see it. But I will say this. The ownership of Truth Aquatics has an impeccable reputation for running the best and safest boats in the biz spanning four decades and being great people, so if you did see the owner and something seemed shady I would believe it to be shock and confusion versus deception.
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adkindo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
adkindo wrote:
DaMuleRules wrote:
They have discovered 17 more victims. I have heard from the guy who heads the group of divers I have been diving with for the last 20+ years and is the lead investigator of diving accidents for LA County that at least one of the victims is from our group, though he won't say who until the list of victims is released publicly. Not sure if it is anyone I know.


wow, I hate to hear that....sure you have been racking your brain with names and faces since it happened checking people off. I am hesitant to say this because outside of a few media reports, I do not know the in depth story, but I saw an older man and woman being interviewed today on television (I think it said he was the owner?), and my gut was skeptical of his statements for some reason. I can't pinpoint what was bothering me, and maybe the guy was still in some form of shock, but I will be interested to see what is learned in the investigation.


I haven't seen the owners comment as of yet, and I think I would have because all I have been doing for the last 36 hours is follow various message boards and exchanging texts with people in the community.

You may have seen the couple that were the other boat in the cove and took on the 5 survivors - though obviously I don't know who you saw because I didn't see it. But I will say this. The ownership of Truth Aquatics has an impeccable reputation for running the best and safest boats in the biz spanning four decades and being great people, so if you did see the owner and something seemed shady I would believe it to be shock and confusion versus deception.


damnit, I think you are correct on who I saw....and that is probably why I could not make sense of their statements since they were not speaking as survivors from the boat that sank. Lesson is when you feel like you do not have a good grasp on an event/story....just say nothing.

Saw this article talking to former passengers like yourself speaking out in support of the operation.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-passengers-california-boat-consumed-deadly-fire-say-it-always-n1049421
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:56 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:

Saw this article talking to former passengers like yourself speaking out in support of the operation.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-passengers-california-boat-consumed-deadly-fire-say-it-always-n1049421


One of the frustrating things of the last day or so has been seeing some of the comments from other divers from different areas chime in with comments and second guessing (and I absolutely in no way mean it in connection to your previous post at all) is they just don't realize how California divers and diving is a specialized world and a tight community that is very different from other places. The diving is overall more demanding and remote than people from elsewhere are used to (it's also the most rewarding - I would take a perfect day of diving a healthy kelp forest than any other dive in the world, and I have been to some of the best diving around the South Pacific and Caribbean). As a result, we are an independent group that very much looks out for each other and respects each other. A dive boat run by dishonest people or those just in it for the buck is not going to make it. People won't dive with them and they'll make sure others know why - and not in that "bad Yelp review" way. Just giving others a heads up.

Anyway, it's been pretty surreal and I know I haven't truly grasped the enormity of it - though my wife and I have had a few "wholly crap, that could have been us" moments. And I know it's going to get extremely sad as things become more clear in regards to those involved. I just saw that one family of 5 is among the victims.

It's just freaking tragic and I am crushed for everyone involved and can't imagine what those 5 survivors must be going through.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject:

Here's an interviewwith the owner that was done with a local media outlet today:

Brunell: "Is there anything else that you think the company or these boats could have been equipped with that would've prevented this?"

Fritzler: "No. Honestly not at all. If that was the case, I would've done it because we are a top-notch company, and I've invested my entire life into this company, and I take it very seriously and that will be disclosed. I'm sure through Coast Guard records, the Coast Guard has the utmost respect for our operation and what we do ... I'm sure something's going to be learned from this ... Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents, regardless if it's a boat or an airplane, we learn from them and there will be something learned, and it's a very, very unfortunate event. We're all sickened by it, and the entire crew and staff is. Words can't convey."

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lakersken80
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject:

Since the passengers and one crew member was sleeping below deck, smoke inhalation would've incapacitated them before they ever noticed the fire.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject:

lakersken80 wrote:
Since the passengers and one crew member was sleeping below deck, smoke inhalation would've incapacitated them before they ever noticed the fire.


The boat had a fiberglass hull, which puts off highly toxic fumes in thick billowing smoke, so that's quite likely.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject:

I sincerely hope the smoke got those poor folks before the fire. For the crew up top not to have time to do anything but jump, whatever happened, happened fast. Just awful...
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:13 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
DaMuleRules wrote:
I have heard from the guy who heads the group of divers I have been diving with for the last 20+ years and is the lead investigator of diving accidents for LA County that at least one of the victims is from our group, though he won't say who until the list of victims is released publicly. Not sure if it is anyone I know.


wow, I hate to hear that....sure you have been racking your brain with names and faces since it happened checking people off.


Turns out I did not know the person, though I know of him - friend of friends.

But in a piece of relatively good fortune in all of this, I do know someone who was going to be on the trip but had to cancel because of a surgery he needed to have.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject:

hoopschick29 wrote:
I sincerely hope the smoke got those poor folks before the fire. For the crew up top not to have time to do anything but jump, whatever happened, happened fast. Just awful...


And that is apparently the case. All victims reportedly died of smoke inhalation - highly toxic smoke at that. The crew says that before they fled the boat, they attempted to enter the galley. Fire had completely blocked the galley entrance door and the windows were closed. Which means that as the fire grew, the toxic smoke had to concentrate in the galley and then the bunk room. It sounds highly likely that the volume of smoke suffocated the victims in their sleep before any of them were aware there was even a fire.

I worry about those 5 crew members though. The survivors guilt is going to be a very tough thing to navigate. Those guys are brought up in the culture knowing they are responsible for the passengers' safety. I hope they don't beat themselves up with too much second guessing.
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adkindo
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject:

In the NTSB preliminary report, it states that the crew did not have a "watchkeeper" on the night of the fire. Per the report, the crew is required to have at least one member remain awake/alert through the night, but all members were asleep. It did not say if this was a routine issue with the boat, or maybe the one person that was supposed to have that position unilaterally made the decision to go to sleep.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:10 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
In the NTSB preliminary report, it states that the crew did not have a "watchkeeper" on the night of the fire. Per the report, the crew is required to have at least one member remain awake/alert through the night, but all members were asleep. It did not say if this was a routine issue with the boat, or maybe the one person that was supposed to have that position unilaterally made the decision to go to sleep.


I've been participating in a lengthy thread on a scuba board with other frequent Truth Aquatics divers . . . this is highly unusual for their boats.

Someone is going to have a lifetime of guilt to wrestle with.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
adkindo wrote:
In the NTSB preliminary report, it states that the crew did not have a "watchkeeper" on the night of the fire. Per the report, the crew is required to have at least one member remain awake/alert through the night, but all members were asleep. It did not say if this was a routine issue with the boat, or maybe the one person that was supposed to have that position unilaterally made the decision to go to sleep.


I've been participating in a lengthy thread on a scuba board with other frequent Truth Aquatics divers . . . this is highly unusual for their boats.

Someone is going to have a lifetime of guilt to wrestle with.


I think the report said 5 crews members were sleeping in one location, and another crew member was sleeping in another location (below deck). It did not say this, but it would make sense that the one that was asleep below deck may have been the crew member responsible for staying awake....and I assume that crew member perished in the fire. It could have been a situation where the crew member slipped down to an empty bunk to rest and accidentally fell asleep?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:52 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:


I think the report said 5 crews members were sleeping in one location, and another crew member was sleeping in another location (below deck). It did not say this, but it would make sense that the one that was asleep below deck may have been the crew member responsible for staying awake....and I assume that crew member perished in the fire. It could have been a situation where the crew member slipped down to an empty bunk to rest and accidentally fell asleep?


There is some discussion in exactly what the report means. From the discussion I mentioned (this is from a guy who I think I may have mentioned before - he's the guy who leads the group I have dove with for 25 years and is the lead investigator for LA County whenever their is a fatal dive accident. He's not directly part of the investigation into the fire, but is in communication with people who are:

Couple of important (IMHO) things to note:
1. NTSB report clearly says it's prelim and may contain errors.
2. Truth's lawyer has already challenged (KNX Radio) the accuracy of that statement and says he can disprove it.
3. NTSB didn't interview all 5 surviving crew, only 3.
4. Other 2 crew not interviewed at behest of USCG, which seems weird to me since NTSB is lead agency.


What we know for sure is that the 5 surviving crew members were in the crew quarters on the flybridge. The 6th crewman who died was actually not crew, but was on the office staff of Truth Aquatics and asked to go on the trip to spend the weekend with her boyfriend who was one of the survivors. She was sleeping in a designated crew bunk in the passenger bunk room, so she couldn't have been someone who was supposed to have been on watch.

The crewman who initially became aware of the fire was woken from his sleep by a loud thud that he thought may have been someone falling down. He went to investigate and discovered the fire and alerted the rest of the crew.

AS I see it, the only explanation for the fire getting to the point it did before being detected indicates that the person who was on watch was asleep, either accidentally or by "permission". It's not clear if the crewman who woke up was supposed to be on watch.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:04 pm    Post subject:

^^^my initial thoughts reading the report, which was only like 2 pages was what was the point in releasing it. They have not identified cause of the fire and clearly have not finished their investigation. Seems like it just creates questions and speculation that could be mitigated if they simply released a full report at the conclusion of their investigation.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:27 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
^^^my initial thoughts reading the report, which was only like 2 pages was what was the point in releasing it. They have not identified cause of the fire and clearly have not finished their investigation. Seems like it just creates questions and speculation that could be mitigated if they simply released a full report at the conclusion of their investigation.


I agree. Apparently, because NTSB investigations are so thorough and can take years, it is common for them to release a preliminary report just to get some of the "facts" out within the first couple of weeks if they have any.

On different note. When I got home tonight, my wife and I were talking about it all and she said she was talking to one of her co-workers today and he not only is friends with 5 of the victims, he was supposed to go on the trip with them but had to cancel at the last minute because he felt he needed to stay home to finish up some work.

The one aspect to the story that I really haven't seen covered by the media reports is how deeply this tragedy is resonating with a very tight knit community. Seemingly, all of my fellow divers that I have talked to either knew someone on the boat, or knows someone who did.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject:

Just read this update by the sister of one of the victims that outlines the final minutes of the victims based on initial FBI and coroner findings. Fortunately, all indications are that all the victims died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Conception Fire: Solving the Puzzle
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
Just read this update by the sister of one of the victims that outlines the final minutes of the victims based on initial FBI and coroner findings. Fortunately, all indications are that all the victims died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Conception Fire: Solving the Puzzle


Thanks for posting. Glad to hear they may have died peacefully.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject:

On the one year anniversary they placed a monument honoring the victims of the Conception fire at the harbor. Family members of the victims also placed a banner honoring first responders, other divers and rescue personnel for their efforts.
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