NTSB CONCEPTION Fire fallout starts

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by jehardiman, May 4, 2022.

  1. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Changes to the fire evacuation rules caused by the MV CONCEPTION fire are beginning to filter down in the marine industries. New interim rules went into effect March 28, 2022.
    https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAR2003.pdf
    https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...-27549/fire-safety-of-small-passenger-vessels
    FRS Clipper cancels summer ferry service to San Juan Islands https://www.seattletimes.com/life/travel/frs-clipper-cancels-summer-ferry-service-to-san-juan-islands/
     
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  2. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

  3. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    It is interesting; the recommendations are all so basic. But one of them still affords human failure.

    I will summarize for the casual reader, not for fleet operators.

    1. Smoke detection and interconnection between all sleeping areas.

    2. Roving patrols.

    3. Secondary egress from another point not affected by a single ignition.

    It is a sad tragedy and 33 souls lost to what was clearly avoidable.

    I'm a little surprised lithium batteries were not in the recommendations. I did not have time to read the entire report, but it was my original understanding the ignition source was unknown. Charging batteries in sleeping areas of near egress seems like another piece of the puzzle, but the solution not so simple. In the industrial world, fire risks are cabineted.
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    I couldn't find a date on the San Juan Islander article you linked, but it seems to be ~ a year old as it is referring to 2020 as "last year". Not sure that relates vis-a-vis todays (May 2022) Covid restrictions. Anyway, I bet the reduction was based on egress requirements. IIRC, the upper deck on those vessels only have one egress path, a single stairway down as there are no "place for refuge" in the event of a fire.
    https://images.seattletimes.com/wp-...32022_San-Juan-Clipper_111509.jpg?d=1560x1040
     
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  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    All I am saying is they have had low passenger count problems for awhile now.

    You are probably right that they need some other egress and can't or don't want to bother. But the entire point of the rule makes total sense to me as it was a consideration for me for two single cabins and a double cabin in my own boat. Fire would be the primary risk to life and the fuel tanks are next to entries. When I found out 33 people were sleeping and had no way out other than a difficult escape hatch on Conception, I was mortified.

    Not an industry insider, just a man on the street.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2022
  6. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Here's a link to their site. Clipper San Juan Update. 2022 season cancelled - Washington Forum - Tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g28968-i73-k13930317-Clipper_San_Juan_Update_2022_season_cancelled-Washington.html

    It's only full day trips that are canceled. Seattle to Friday Harbor trips are canceled. Half day whale watching trips are trips are still on. On those tour boats all they need to do is provide a second egress. There is no sleeping or overnight accommodations. These are tourist boats for whale watching. Their business has been way off anyway because of the pandemic restrictions here in Washington, which were lifted pretty much in June of 2021. There are some new restrictions on whale watching because the Orca population has dropped dramatically over the last 5 or 6 years. The distance the boats have to stay away from the pod has been increased. Time spent near them has decreased. There's more to this than the new regulations on passenger vessels, most of which apply for overnight trips.

    BTW This boat makes a hell of a racket. I have seen and heard them going past Port Townsend on their way to the San Juan Islands and they sound like a fighter jet taking off.
     
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  7. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell . . . . .

    Not sure when you last saw/heard them Ike, but they have switched back to diesel and are much quieter as a result.
     
  8. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell . . . . .

    The Clipper is a ferry from Seattle to Victoria. They are known for stopping and looking at whales along the way and have turned that into marketing.
    The old turbines were very noisy indeed.
    I was really surprised to see them switch to diesel.
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2022
  10. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Maybe the whales complained to the state Department of Ecology about the noise. I certainly would have.
     
  11. Russell Brown
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    Russell Brown Senior Member

    Hopefully sometime soon whale watching/harassment will be banned and the wales can have a bit more peace. I'm so sick of seeing loads of horribly loud and inefficient boats roaring around chasing wales.
     

  12. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Hopefully. The resident southern Orcas are slowly dying off due to pollution, and boat traffic. The whales in the Salish sea won't be far behind.

    Anyway, sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread.

    I am glad to see the changes in the regulations for these types of passenger vessels. It will make them safer.
     
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