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Old 09-02-2022, 08:46 AM   #1
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Conception dive boat fire

The most troubling small vessel tragedy in US waters in recent years happened three years ago today. Although the exact cause remains unclear, the deaths of 34 people aboard were absolutely preventable. Here is an update on the NTSB's recommendations:

https://www.workboat.com/government/...8008PLPP114I8d
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Old 09-02-2022, 09:17 AM   #2
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You can now buy combo CO / smoke detectors, interconnected, no wiring.
A half dozen now sub $200.
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Old 09-02-2022, 09:47 AM   #3
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You can now buy combo CO / smoke detectors, interconnected, no wiring.
A half dozen now sub $200.
And there are also one's that have a verbal message plus the loud beep. I'm not sure how programmable the individual verbal messages are.

One of the things I've noticed about mine onboard and at home is that, because of their proximity, I have a hard time identifying which detector is the primary one that sensed the problem. Interconnection, and all detectors beeping, is fine if one's response is to launch the dinghy and row away. But if the alarm(s) also said "Fire, Electrical Panel," I'd feel better about my first response being peeking into the correct area with a fire extinguisher in hand.
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Old 09-02-2022, 09:56 AM   #4
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And there are also one's that have a verbal message plus the loud beep. I'm not sure how programmable the individual verbal messages are.

One of the things I've noticed about mine onboard and at home is that, because of their proximity, I have a hard time identifying which detector is the primary one that sensed the problem. Interconnection, and all detectors beeping, is fine if one's response is to launch the dinghy and row away. But if the alarm(s) also said "Fire, Electrical Panel," I'd feel better about my first response being peeking into the correct area with a fire extinguisher in hand.

I think some of the linked ones can have locations set where they'll announce the source of the alarm like you're wanting. Can't remember which ones do it or if they support custom locations (vs just a built in list).
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:27 AM   #5
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The ones I put in our last boat had a list of possible locations to choose from. You couldnít make up your own names.
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:31 AM   #6
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The main problem with these older vessels in the fishing and dive boat fleets are that they are older and built when less regulations were required for fire/life safety. I have spent thousands of hours on these types of vessels since the late 70's and learned early on to get there early in order to get a bunk closer to the exit. Its good to see this report and some of these recommendations are low hanging fruit and easily done. Egress improvement is the difficult one, and would require a major rebuild to some vessels. I am not white washing any of these concerns and their importance, it's just the reality.
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:37 AM   #7
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Besides the fact that both escape routes led to the salon, the secondary escape route was from the top bunk in a 3 high stack of bunks. And it had very little headroom from the top bunk to the hatch so it would have been tough to even get out that hatch in good conditions. But it met CG regulationsÖ
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:41 AM   #8
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Not all vessels in small comercial fleets are suitable for what they are used for....with or without modernization.

Older buildings suffer similar fates due to new requlations.

As to escape hatches, a lot of rec boat owners think they can get out the forward cabin/foredeck hatch till they actually try it.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:17 AM   #9
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As to escape hatches, a lot of rec boat owners think they can get out the forward cabin/foredeck hatch till they actually try it.
Yep. Try it on your own boat when there's no emergency, and see how difficult it can be to pull yourself up and out. Then consider staging something close at hand that you can stand on. Finally, consider how it would be in the dark / smoke with maximum adrenaline pumping.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:29 AM   #10
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Not all vessels in small comercial fleets are suitable for what they are used for....with or without modernization.

Older buildings suffer similar fates due to new requlations.

As to escape hatches, a lot of rec boat owners think they can get out the forward cabin/foredeck hatch till they actually try it.
Yes, that's why I have a 4' folding step ladder in the forward stateroom.

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Old 09-02-2022, 11:35 AM   #11
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As to escape hatches, a lot of rec boat owners think they can get out the forward cabin/foredeck hatch till they actually try it.
On my boat the hatch is directly over the forward bunk. It's bit of work to hoist yourself out of it, but I've done it a few times and it's certainly possible. The one I worry about is the aft cabin. There's not really an escape route from back there. Best you've got is to open a window, slide the screen out of the way and try to crawl out onto the side deck (which may mean going right into the water). I keep thinking about ways to replace the window onto the aft deck with an escape hatch of some form (as it's placed such that it wouldn't be too hard to climb out).
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Old 09-02-2022, 12:33 PM   #12
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I just bought a couple of hoods with attached filter designed for smoke/fire. I also have a fire blanket. I keep these in my stateroom due to not having a escape hatch. I specifically got these after reading about the dive boat and two incidents nearby where people couldn't get out of their burning boat. I'm not sure how well they work (made in China), but the smoke is what puts you down first. If the hood buys me five minutes, I'd be happy with that.
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Old 09-02-2022, 12:35 PM   #13
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.... Finally, consider how it would be in the dark / smoke with maximum adrenaline pumping.
And ten of your friends behind you.
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Old 09-02-2022, 12:50 PM   #14
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And ten of your friends behind you.
In situations like that, you find out the quality of your friends rather fast...
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Old 09-09-2022, 09:36 PM   #15
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On my boat the hatch is directly over the forward bunk. It's bit of work to hoist yourself out of it, but I've done it a few times and it's certainly possible. The one I worry about is the aft cabin. There's not really an escape route from back there. Best you've got is to open a window, slide the screen out of the way and try to crawl out onto the side deck (which may mean going right into the water). I keep thinking about ways to replace the window onto the aft deck with an escape hatch of some form (as it's placed such that it wouldn't be too hard to climb out).
We had a similar issue. Only fast way out was up stairway to wheelhouse, which is over the engine room, most likely source of a fire. We added a Freeman 20Ē hatch to the aft deck.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Not all vessels in small comercial fleets are suitable for what they are used for....with or without modernization.

Older buildings suffer similar fates due to new requlations.

As to escape hatches, a lot of rec boat owners think they can get out the forward cabin/foredeck hatch till they actually try it.
We have a small step ladder and a sheet of plywood for escape out of our deck hatch. The ladder usage is obvious but it has to sit on the mattress so we can lay the piece of plywood on the mattress and set the ladder on the plywood for a somewhat stable base.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:02 PM   #17
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On my boat the hatch is directly over the forward bunk. It's bit of work to hoist yourself out of it, but I've done it a few times and it's certainly possible. The one I worry about is the aft cabin. There's not really an escape route from back there. Best you've got is to open a window, slide the screen out of the way and try to crawl out onto the side deck (which may mean going right into the water). I keep thinking about ways to replace the window onto the aft deck with an escape hatch of some form (as it's placed such that it wouldn't be too hard to climb out).
On our last boat the PO had removed the aft cabin escape hatch and decked over the hole. I stayed on the boat the first night and felt uncomfortable doing it. The next day I cut the deck where the hatch had been and installed a new hatch. Slept much better after that. Every cabin should have 2 escape routes.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:45 PM   #18
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My 42 Nordic has a nice big hatch over the main stateroom (and I have a ladder for it), but the guest cabin has only very small portholes. There isn’t a place to make a larger hatch from that cabin. I have a fire extinguisher, large wool blanket (fireproof), co and smoke detectors in there. ER has an automatic fire suppression system. I don’t think there are any other options
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Old 09-10-2022, 02:33 AM   #19
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Our main staterooms are above deck
Below deck is for ER and storage.
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:46 AM   #20
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We had a similar issue. Only fast way out was up stairway to wheelhouse, which is over the engine room, most likely source of a fire. We added a Freeman 20Ē hatch to the aft deck.
Ric

Hatch in the aft deck is a good idea too. Would be easy enough to do, although a little awkward to climb out (due to limited height between hatch and bunk requiring some bending). And it would be a trip hazard on the aft deck (and would need to get walked on). So I think a hatch onto the aft deck (to replace the window in the picture below) might be better.
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