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Might depend on where and how the fire started and where the people were. If it was an explosion that started it that could have killed or incapacitated them. If they were below deck and the fire prevented them from getting out would do it too but yeah if i could i would certainly hit the water before i burned to death.
 

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From the article you posted........

"The victims and those still missing were sleeping below deck when the fire started, ........."

"The crew was already awake and jumped off the bridge into the water," she said.
 

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Deck fires are problematic that way. The only way out from sleeping quarters is up.

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We had training films in the Navy and one of them showed a carrier blowing up from the ordinance room below decks and most of the men killed were those who tried to get dressed before going topside.

That's out of context, but it's a memory that popped up.
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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Just saying. They might have been drunk and unable to get topside.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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As of 2.5 hours ago, four bodies had been recovered.
 

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Those on board were thought to be sleeping below deck when the fire broke out in the predawn hours. Authorities continued their search Monday for possible survivors as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s coroner office prepared for a mass casualty incident.

Here is a transcript of the call:

Man, around 3:15 a.m.: “Mayday, mayday, mayday! … Conception … north side of Santa Cruz.” (He’s broken up by static.)
Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach dispatcher asks position and number of people on board.
Man: “I can’t breathe.” … (garbled)

Dispatcher: “You have 29 persons on board and you can’t breathe? What is your current GPS position?”

(Another man calls in who heard the distress call and is over by Anacapa Island.)

There’s some garbled space and back-and-forth for a few minutes as dispatchers try to reach anyone from the boat.


Mike Kohl waits at the gate of the Ventura County Coast Guard station on Sept. 2, 2019 for news of his brother Mike Kohl, age 58, who was a cook on the dive boat that caught fire and sank. At least 34 people are missing after a dive boat caught on fire and sank off of Santa Cruz Island on a dive trip. Five crew members who were awake and on deck survived.


A boat caught fire off the Ventura County coast Monday morning, Sept. 2, 2019 near Santa Cruz Island and a rescue operation is underway.

One of the crew members from the dive boat that caught fire and sank is brought back to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Oxnard on Sept. 2, 2019. At least 34 people are missing after a dive boat caught on fire and sank off Santa Cruz Island on a dive trip. Five crew members who were awake and on deck survived.

Family members arrive at the Ventura County Coast Guard headquarters on Sept. 2, 2019 in Ventura, Calif.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester talks to the media during a press conference on Sept. 2, 2019, in Ventura, Calif. At least 34 people are missing after a dive boat caught on fire and sank off of Santa Cruz Island on a dive trip. Five crew members who were awake and on deck survived.

A frantic man can be heard:“Vessel Conception! Vessel Conception! Vessel Conception!” …

Dispatch: “Your vessel is on fire? Is that correct? … Are you on board the Conception?”

Man: “Roger, there’s 33 people that’s on board the vessel that’s on fire. They can’t get off.”

Dispatch: “Roger, are they locked inside the boat? Roger, can you get back on board and unlock the boat, unlock the door so they can get off? Roger, you don’t have any firefighting gear, no fire extinguishers or anything?”

Dispatch: “Roger, is this the captain of the Conception?”

Man: “Roger”

Dispatch: “Was that all the crew that jumped off?”

Man: “Roger”

Dispatch: “Is the vessel fully engulfed now?”

Man: “Roger, and there’s no escape hatch for any of the people on board.”

Five crew members were already awake and jumped off the boat, which was 20 yards offshore of the north side of Santa Cruz Island, according to Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester.

The five crew members were rescued by a good Samaritan boat, the Grape Escape, according to the agency. Two of them sustained leg injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They were locked below deck. Why would they be locked below deck? Were the misbehaving?
 

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They were locked below deck. Why would they be locked below deck? Were the misbehaving?
I wondered about that but there is so much to the story which lacks sense. Something else I wondered about is the crew. While I understand the passengers were sleeping below deck and the crew was on deck I would have thought during an emergency the crew's primary mission would be to aid or assist passengers? Anyway, I wasn't there and have no idea what actually took place. The film footage shows the boat burning to the water line and sinking. My guess is other than the few bodies recovered the large part of the remainder will be found in the submerged portion of the boat. Pretty sad how they apparently couldn't get out from below decks.

Ron
 

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My fathers 25' cabin cruiser had two exits. My brothers 30' trimaran had two exits.My travel trailer has two exits. I had a cab-over camper that had two exits. Something is not right here.
 

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Fire can travel very quickly on a boat.
That many people sleeping below decks it would be almost impossible to get out.
Especially if the fire was blocking the hatch. Sounds like even the crew awake above deck barely had enough time to escape.
What a way to go.
On another note. Not a single person was killed with an assault rifle, how could that have happened?
 

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Fire can travel very quickly on a boat.
That many people sleeping below decks it would be almost impossible to get out.
Especially if the fire was blocking the hatch. Sounds like even the crew awake above deck barely had enough time to escape.
What a way to go.
On another note. Not a single person was killed with an assault rifle, how could that have happened?
The dispatcher is heard saying, "And there's 33 people on board the vessel that's on fire, they can't get off? ... Roger, are they locked inside the boat? ... Roger, can you get back on board and unlock the boat, unlock the door so they can get off? ... Roger, you don't have any firefighting gear at all? No fire extinguishers or anything?"
The person on the other end was not saying. "locked." He was saying "blocked," just as you observe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No fire extinguishers? Something bad happened topside while cooking breakfast or something, but for the whole crew to just abandon ship? Someone grab a fire extinguisher and try. Five people? Not one tried to help the people below? I hope they get sued out of existence.
 

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^^^^^^ It's California, so unless those on board were illegals, nothing will happen.
 
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Those who escaped the fire may have been sleeping in the main cabin of the boat rather than below.

That would explain the "I can't breathe," report.

They were awake and had jumped off the boat's bridge, making their way to another vessel.

When first observed by people in the area, the deck was aflame from stem to stern. That would explain the blocked exits for those below decks and the inability for the topside crew to get to them.

The engine room had an automatic fire suppression system.

That would not have been triggered by a deck fire.

Fire fighting equipment on the deck would not normally be sufficient to extinguish a full deck fire.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it was a gas spill that flooded the deck.

We'll see ...
 
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