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post #101 of 246 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
.....And, there is a huge difference between non-paying social guests and paying customers. This is true in many contexts beyond boating. When profit motive is involved, there is an incentive to cut corners when it comes to safety and paying customers are not always in a position to assess safety of a business operator prior to engaging with them. The social guest context is entirely different. There is a very big distinction practically speaking, and legally in just about every context you can imagine.
Yes, this is a legal distinction for sure. There is no uniform commercial code that applies to social guests. However, I fully disagree that there is a practical safety distinction. In fact, I'm willing to bet that far more recreational vessels have far more safety concerns than do commercial vessels. Lives are still at risk.

Will you stay awake all night, next you have guests aboard?

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If I had to guess, I would say you have a background in the corporate/business owner side of things. I can almost hear the "tort reform" drum beating in the background of your posts. Not saying that's a bad thing, just that it's very obvious.
I'm not trying to offend you, so please quit the offensive psychoanalysis. This entire aspect of the the thread is based upon whether the media reporting about the law requiring a night watch was accurate. There is one more post above that suggests it was and I'm interested in that fact. I intuitively think there need be a floor where an alert night watch is not necessary, just as we determine them not to be on our relatively less safe recreational vessels. Same reason a fiberglass/wood hull was allowed at all.

You can't lynch someone, in the media or otherwise, for laws that don't exist. In fact, there is a law that makes that clear. It's got nothing to do with tort reform.


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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

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Originally Posted by cherylchecheryl View Post
46 CFR 15.855 does not apply to Conception because the vessel is instead regulated by Subchapter T.

Vessels that fall under Subchapter T are required to have a watchman (46 CFR 185.410).
Good reference. Seems to seal the deal. However, the link I provided specifically states that vessels subject to Subchapter T are exempt from the standards of the STWC. Sub T does require a night watch, so how in the world is one to know which applies?

As noted earlier, I wonder if it's specified in their COI.


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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

According to the same news article, it sounds like a crew member actually was awake anyway, so I'm more confused about this line of criticism than ever........

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A crew member was awake on the boat and straightening up items in the galley and mess area but went upstairs to the wheelhouse about 2:35 a.m.

Before the crew member went upstairs, he checked that the stove was cold and nothing flammable was out, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. Sometime between 2:35 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., the crew member heard a noise and thought somebody had tripped. The crew member went down to the middle level and saw the fire.
https://www.latimes.com/california/s...ers-passengers
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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

Every word in this quote is loaded. Just this could be hours in the witness stand.

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the crew member heard a noise and thought somebody had tripped. The crew member went down to the middle level and saw the fire.
A tripping sound... But trip or little trip. Not an explosion or an explosion muffled by the distance?
The same crew that assured he ensured the syive was cold. But didn't check the USB chargers were cold.
Does a propane tank pipe leak ignition explode? Go thump? Or whistle?

It's so frustrating not to know!

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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

The LA Times is blocking my access, so I can't double check and am responding from memory.

I believe that the crew member checked that everything was OK in the galley at 2:35 am and went up to the bridge. The crew member was then awakened sometime before 3:15 am and thought someone downstairs had tripped.

So, to me, it sounds like they went upstairs and fell asleep. Whether that was normal operating procedure or whether someone was always supposed to be awake will be important.

I saw that the authorities took a lot of material from the owner's business via a warrant. I wonder if they have served a warrant on the various cell phone companies to figure out what sort of electronics the passengers had onboard with them. Samsung, Apple, and GoPro have had problems.
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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Yes, this is a legal distinction for sure. There is no uniform commercial code that applies to social guests. However, I fully disagree that there is a practical safety distinction. In fact, I'm willing to bet that far more recreational vessels have far more safety concerns than do commercial vessels. Lives are still at risk.

Will you stay awake all night, next you have guests aboard?
A few posts back you weren't talking about which type of vessel has more safety concerns. You were talking about whether the same safety standards should be applied to recreational vessels as commercial vessels (seemingly to argue that the lower standards of recreational vessels should be applicable to commercial vessels). This is beyond ridiculous for many reasons. Should my kitchen and dining room at home have the same safety and food handling requirements as a restaurant? When profit motive is involved, together with a higher volume of passengers, who likely have no practical way to get to know the owner/operator beforehand -- unlike in the friend situation -- it's a very different situation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'm not trying to offend you, so please quit the offensive psychoanalysis. This entire aspect of the the thread is based upon whether the media reporting about the law requiring a night watch was accurate. There is one more post above that suggests it was and I'm interested in that fact. I intuitively think there need be a floor where an alert night watch is not necessary, just as we determine them not to be on our relatively less safe recreational vessels. Same reason a fiberglass/wood hull was allowed at all.
I apologize. I wasn't trying to offend either; just making an observation. Your comments in this thread really seem to argue, in a veiled manner, for less liability on the part of the owner -- starting back when you suggested that this event, with 34 dead people, might have been non-preventable (i.e., no one should be held responsible).
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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

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Originally Posted by cherylchecheryl View Post
The LA Times is blocking my access, so I can't double check and am responding from memory.

I believe that the crew member checked that everything was OK in the galley at 2:35 am and went up to the bridge. The crew member was then awakened sometime before 3:15 am and thought someone downstairs had tripped......
I quoted the section from the LA Time article above. It does not say awakened, although, that doesn't mean it wasn't the case.


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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
A few posts back you weren't talking about which type of vessel has more safety concerns. You were talking about whether the same safety standards should be applied to recreational vessels as commercial vessels (seemingly to argue that the lower standards of recreational vessels should be applicable to commercial vessels). This is beyond ridiculous for many reasons. Should my kitchen and dining room at home have the same safety and food handling requirements as a restaurant? When profit motive is involved, together with a higher volume of passengers, who likely have no practical way to get to know the owner/operator beforehand -- unlike in the friend situation -- it's a very different situation.
I was not arguing these lower standards apply, I was saying I would understand that smaller vessels would have lower standards. Otherwise, every vessel, including recreational, should have these same standards. There is no guest on any of our recreational vessels that can make any safety assessment, just by knowing us.

Quote:
I apologize. I wasn't trying to offend either; just making an observation. Your comments in this thread really seem to argue, in a veiled manner, for less liability on the part of the owner -- starting back when you suggested that this event, with 34 dead people, might have been non-preventable (i.e., no one should be held responsible).
Thanks for the olive branch. I have no horse in the race on whether this owner is ultimately liable. I was only standing up and saying, until someone points to something he did wrong, he isn't. That may happen, but most were just looking to string him up. Once due process (or even some evidence of wrongdoing) suggestes he's guilty, I've said repeatedly I'd cast my own guilty verdict.


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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

Minne--

A criminal investigation of the "Accident" has been initiated by the authorities and, at the least, the owner/operators of that Company, and particularly the master of that ship, is/are guilty of Criminal Negligence, regardless of what rules may or may not be inscribed. The criminal negligence standard--described as “aggravated, culpable, gross, or reckless conduct that is such a departure from what would be the conduct of an ordinarily prudent or careful person under the same circumstances as to be incompatible with a proper regard for human life.” Criminal negligence occurs when a reasonable person in a defendant’s position would/should have been aware of the relevant risk, and that a jury could have considered the risk obvious. (People v. Valdez, 27 Cal. 4th 778 (2002).)

I could/would go into further discussion on the whole but merely thinking of this event raises my blood pressure too much. As one of the parents of a beautiful 26 year old girl who is an enthusiastic diver and has gone on many of such dive trips, I cringe at the thought of what the parents, wives, husbands, children and siblings of the victims are enduring.

Moreover, my daughter informs her mother and I that on every trip she has been on, not a few, the boats have always maintained a Deck Watch or "Fire Watch" during the night--exemplifying the conduct of an ordinarily prudent or careful person . From our own "Rules", drilled into her since she was a little crumb cruncher, aboard our boat, the "First Rule" is Safety First. Moreover, she assures us that she always ensures that she knows the way, and the number of steps it takes to reach, the escape exits from the crew quarters and that such escape exits Do Not Include deck scuttles which, if opened, would certainly create a "Chimney Effect" as alluded to in a previous post, making a poor escape route but exacerbating a fire. Moreover, she informs us that on her boats, guests and crew were specifically prohibited from leaving their personal electronics on chargers overnight due to the know hazards of such practices as evidenced by the total destruction of the multi-million dollar Swan in Sint. Marrten a few years ago, in a fire ignited by a laptop left on a charger in a crew cabin.

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Last edited by svHyLyte; 1 Week Ago at 09:12 AM. Reason: correct typo
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Re: Multiple fatalities in California scuba boat fire

Sounds damning for the owner, but we're still focused solely on the fact that people died and not on what actually happened and whether they should have reasonably prevented it. We're working on the theory that chargers exploded and the escape hatches were poorly conceived and they didn't have a night watch. Will dirt based negligence laws apply on the water? I didn't think so. If we want them to, we can't retroactively do so.

I've not read any reference to a reg that one is not supposed to be charging devices at night.

The requirement for a night watch is unclear, but seems one is required. Reporting says there was a crew member awake and active approx 30 minutes prior to the fire. There may have actually been one. How did the LEO know one way or the other?

The escape hatches were obviously approved during their USCG inspection.

If the owner/captain violated a reg or law, they're toast and should be. I'm only saying, if they didn't, you can't string them up just for vengeance. I'm appalled that people died. There may very well need to be laws that say electronics can't be charging overnight or maybe we beach all grandfathered vessel designs. However, it's pretty darn common for there to be batteries charging, despite your daughter's experience. The ships own batteries were probably charging. Do cruise ships ban unattended or asleep charging in one's cabin and do they police this?

I guess I'm worried that too many are saying, people died so I need to find something to string him up. That's not civilized rule of law. That's mob rule.
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