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Discussion Starter #241
The firemen told us that it is essential to aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. The base of fire does not have any flame or color. It is a void, just above the pan of gasoline, where the oxygen feeds the fire.
Second, is the fact that down below, all boats are very small confined spaces. The moment you pull the extinguisher trigger on a powder extinguisher, it will go to zero visibilty. Instantly. There is a Youtube demonstration on this. You need to be far enough away and have your exit planned in zero viz. You'll be destroying visibility for every passenger attempting to exit too.
That video was really eye opening (haha, sorry). But really, it was. You get *one* shot with the fire extinguisher because after that visibility is zero.

After I saw that clip I bought some fire blankets. For my boat, for my kitchen, and for my bag ‘o boat crap that I bring when chartering. It would be a lot safer and cleaner to put out a kitchen fire with one of these than with a powder extinguisher:
Tonyko Fiberglass Fire Blanket for Emergency Surival, Flame Retardant Protection and Heat Insulation
 

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Well, based on this thread, I replaced the smoke and CO detectors on a new to me boat Saturday morning. Heck, I even paid the West Marine price. No reason to mess with this, just do it.

FWIW, I had a Kidde ion smoke detector on my last boat for 15 years and never, not once, did I ever have a false/nuisance alarm. But then again I never made toast on that boat...
 

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LOL Today I bought 3 new detectors... smoke, CO and heat.

And Ive worked out my emergency egress from the aft cabin. Theres a screw in pannel leading into the stern lazarette. I took the screws out.
Not a whole lot of room but if theres fire I think I would grow skinny real quick to get out that way :)

Oh, yeah, I had my Fire Blanket anyway, from about 1 second after I bought the boat.

When I was a kid we had an alcohol stove on my parents boat. Mums cooking and it goes up... flames cabin top high... Dad and me jump into action to Save the Day and we each grab a chemical fire extinguisher. Dads first... he fires it and theres this little dribble comes out the spout. I laugh, push him aside to Save The Day and hit the trigger... also a miserable dribble of white puss.
Mum steps forward with a tea-towel and drops it on the fire completely smothering it in zero seconds.

Yep, fire blankets are the GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mark
 

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Two thoughts on fire blankets:
* Wool is actually better for escape. Insulation.
* Pull the blanket out and refold. It needs to be folded like a map, so you can pull it right open. Often the factory fold is impractical.
 

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Just read to catch up on the last few days. I have some random comments.

We had a fire in our oven. It was a small fire with limited but fuel so I watched it hoping it would burn out before having to do something. I nearly made it but ended up using the fire extinguisher in it. It made a mess but that’s about it. It did not inhibit my vision.

Our big boat is a 1987 steel center cockpit, it has a vee berth and an aft cabin and a small cabin. The vee berth and the aft cockpit both have hatches big enough to get through easily, the vee berth has handholds that double as a ladder. For the aft cabin you stand on the bed and hoist your bum through. I am do it easy enough but the Wife would be hard pressed. Can’t think of how to mount a step easily.

I know you are supposed to have a roving watch, but how is that defined? Does that mean they never sit down? Or that they make a transit once every 15?, 30? 60? Minutes? Maybe the routine was to do a walk through every hour, takes 5 minutes, and spend the rest of the time on the bridge. If that’s the case does that meet the requirement for a roving watch? Would it have made a difference?

When I had to stand guard duty they gave us a Detex Watch or Clock. You had to lug it around to various points where there were keys which you inserted to show you made the circuit. Without something like that a “watch” is bound to fail. You might as well legislate guardian angles riding unicorns, it won’t happen, human nature will intervene. If you want true safety then you want it mechanized and accomplished by something that doesn’t get bored and play video games or sleep or chat up their girl friend.

IMHO the Watchman is there so you can assign guilt and blame. It won’t stop these kind of accidents. Fire and smoke and gas detection systems exist to stop tragedies. They have far better chance of effectively intervening. Why that did not happen here is the really important question.

I still think it’s possible something else happened, something none of us are considering. I had the idea that genny exhaust might have failed in such a manner that it dumped CO into the sleeping quarters (look at ventilation system) and then managed to start a fire. But that seems equally unlikely because presumably the genny was in the engine room which had its own fire SUPPRESSION system. So I’m stymied, I’ve got nothing.
 

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Interesting that the article claims early NTSB reports suggest a night watch was assigned, but they fell asleep in the wheelhouse. Although, I do not recall the preliminary report saying this.

I wonder what responsibility the Captain or owner have to insure the watch stays awake. Also interesting is the amount of chatter that assumed one wasn't assigned at all, along with calls to metaphorically lynch the owner for not doing so.

Another speculation in this report is the lithium battery fire may have started in the sleeping quarters. Not sure why they say this either.
 
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Discussion Starter #250
"LOS ANGELES — Investigators completed a two-week examination of the charred wreckage of a scuba diving boat and could not determine what ignited the fire that killed 34 people off the Southern California coast, a law enforcement official said Friday."

https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2019/09/30/293339.htm

Disappointing...

Seaman's manslaughter. Huh.

Any criminal charges would likely involve an obscure federal law known as the seaman’s manslaughter statute. It only requires showing negligence or that the captain or crew committed misconduct or neglected their duties. That means an inability to determine the fire’s exact cause may not affect the criminal case.

But an undetermined cause could play a role in lawsuits and the owner’s liability. Failing to determine what sparked the blaze could make it difficult to prove if a boat owner was negligent.
 

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Seaman's manslaughter. Huh.
According to one (unverified) media report, a crew member that fell asleep in the wheelhouse was the assigned night watch. That media report referenced the NTSB, although, I’ve not seen anything from the NTSB that suggested as much.

Nevertheless, assuming there was a night watch assigned and they fell asleep on duty, I wonder if this statute applies beyond that crew member. It would seem the others (Captain, Owner) did as they were supposed to, if that report is accurate.
 
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"LOS ANGELES — Investigators completed a two-week examination of the charred wreckage of a scuba diving boat and could not determine what ignited the fire that killed 34 people off the Southern California coast, a law enforcement official said Friday."

https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2019/09/30/293339.htm

Disappointing...
They forgot to interview the amateur sleuths from Sailnet obviously. I mean all they would have had to do is read the posts here, sic. 😀😀😄😄
 
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We had a robust discussion about the seaman's manslaughter statute in the thread about the captain who didnt stop and search for a crewman who had a psychotic episode, attacked the skipper then jumped overboard. That captain had the charges dismissed by the judge who ruled the law didnt apply because that particular voyage was private and not a commercial enterprise.

Certainly not the case here where this was a charter. But the problems with the statute still apply here. Without going too deep, that law may still be on the books, but it is so outdated and out of synch with modern criminal justice that applying it in any instance would be -- in my humble yet correct opinion-- a grave miscarriage.
 

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Another current thread is about the CGs ability to board without demonstrating cause. I would suggest these statues were formulated for a reason. Given they haven’t been reversed that original intent remains sufficiently strong to not legislate them out of existence. Perhaps this will change. Perhaps not.
 

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I found an interesting series of articles about how to deal with various boat disasters, including fires. The link is attached below. Scroll down on the page quite a ways, and you will see the list of articles. Includes capsizing, running around, gas explosions, galley fires, engine fires, dismasting, sinking.

Hope everyone here never has a need to know these things!

https://www.admiralyacht.com/admiral-news/crash-test-boat/create-jury-rig/
 

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Discussion Starter #256
Those Yachting Monthly crash test videos are the best, everyone should watch them. Like Mythbusters, but with a boat. And just like Mythbusters, they gotta make it blow up :)

Crash Test Boat – Fire
 

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One more vote for the crash boat series. We've shared them on this forum many times in the past.
 

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Weird recap of well reported information.
 
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