Fatal Design Boat Fire Prompts New Coast Guard Safety Protocols


By edhat staff

In the last week of 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard released interim fire safety protocols for small passenger vessels following the deadly 2019 Conception boat fire off the coast of Santa Barbara.

On September 9, 2019, the Santa Barbara-based dive boat caught fire in the early morning hours while anchored off Santa Cruz Island. All 33 passengers and one crew member who slept below deck died. The captain and other crew members sleeping above deck had jumped overboard and survived.

The US Coast Guard has announced plans to issue a set of interim rules on certain small covered passenger vessels. The rules respond to numerous safety recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following its investigation of the fire aboard the Conception.

“The Coast Guard’s interim rules regarding recommendations issued by the NTSB following its investigation into the deadly Labor Day 2019 fire aboard the Conception are a welcome step toward improving passenger safety and of crew on small passenger vessels,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

This interim rule adds additional fire safety requirements for small passenger vessels, including fire detection and extinguishing systems, escape routes, evacuation drills, crew training crew in firefighting, watchmen’s monitoring devices and the handling of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries.

“While there is still work to be done, including implementing safety management systems for passenger vessel operations, we are encouraged by the Coast Guard’s actions and look forward to reviewing the rules. interim,” Homendy said.

Partly because of the fire at La Conception, improve the safety of passengers and fishing vessels was added to the NTSB’s Most Wanted Transportation Security Improvements list in April 2021.


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