The recommendations underscore limiting the unsupervised charging of devices.
Nine days after Truth Aquatics’ diving boat Conception engulfed in flames and sank near Santa Cruz Island, the 34th victim of the diving boat Conception fire has been recovered, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Wednesday evening, the Sheriff’s Office tweeted, “The Conception Incident Unified Command is relieved to report that search and recovery efforts today were successful in locating the last missing victim. DNA testing is still being conducted to confirm identities of 7 of the 34 victims recovered.”
The recovery of the last victim occurred a day after the U.S. Coast Guard announced new marine safety recommendations. Tuesday’s information bulletin makes several recommendations for “owners, operators, and masters of passenger vessels.”
When contacted about the new recommendations, Coast Guard public affairs specialist Mark Barney indicated that the information came from headquarters. At press time, officials from headquarters had not returned requests for comment from the News-Press.
Mr. Barney gave an update on the extraction process though.
Today, the Coast Guard will “start the recovery of the Conception. Everything’s been building up until then,” said Mr. Barney.
The extraction of the diving boat was originally scheduled to take place last week. After high winds picked up near Santa Cruz Island on Friday, the extraction was delayed. The planned extraction for today would be taking place 10 days after Conception caught fire and sank.
A bullet point in the Coast Guard’s bulletin recommends limiting unsupervised charging of batteries and use of power strips.
The following recommendations were listed on Tuesday’s bulletin verbatim:
- Review the routes and conditions listed on the vessel’s Certificate of Inspection (COI) including the number of passengers and overnight passengers permitted. Ensure crewmembers are aware of and clearly understand their obligations including any additional requirements detailed on the COI.
- Review emergency duties and responsibilities with the crew and any other crewmember in a safety sensitive position to ensure they comprehend and can comply with their obligations in an emergency to include the passenger safety orientation. Ensure emergency escapes are clearly identified, functional, and remain clear of objects that may impede egress.
- Review the vessel log book and ensure records of crew training, emergency drills, and equipment maintenance are logged and current. Additionally, it is recommended that the master complete log entries to demonstrate to the Coast Guard that the vessel is operating in compliance with routes and conditions found on the COI.
- Ensure all required firefighting and lifesaving equipment is onboard and operational.
- Reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords.
- Review the overall condition of the passenger accommodation spaces and any other space that is readily available to passengers during the voyage for unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements.
The bulletin also reads that “Owners, operators, or masters of passenger vessels that are unsure of the requirements placed on the vessel’s COI or otherwise required by regulation are encouraged to contact their local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection.”