1-800-BOATLAW

NTSB Releases Hundreds of Pages of Evidence on Deadly Fire Aboard D/V CONCEPTION

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has publicly released voluminous documentary evidence relating to the fire aboard D/V CONCEPTION on September 2, 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 34 people.  The only survivors of the incident near Santa Cruz Island in California were five crewmembers who dove into the water for safety.  Everyone else aboard the vessel remained trapped and perished.

The factual evidence released by the NTSB does not yet draw conclusions or make recommendations.  However, documents indicate that no one was assigned a roving watch duty the night of the fire.  There may also be issues with the sufficiency of the crew’s safety training, as well as a previous electrical fire incident aboard D/V CONCEPTION’s sistership, D/V VISION.

Among the documents released by the NTSB were transcripts of interviews with witnesses.  Ryan Sims, a newer crewmember aboard the vessel, told investigators that he had asked Captain Boylan to discuss emergency plans the day before the fire.  He claims that the Captain responded: “When we have time.” Other crewmembers reportedly were unfamiliar with vessel safety procedures.

Sims further told investigators that he saw sparks when he plugged in his cellphone before going to sleep that night.  He recalls being in a sleep-like state when he heard a pop and then a crackle downstairs as another crew member yelled, “Fire! Fire!”

This tragic incident remains under investigation by the NTSB, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

With offices in Bellingham and Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA, Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC has represented commercial diver and vessel passenger clients for over forty years.  The firm’s admiralty lawyers have a unique understanding of the dangers faced by mariners across the Pacific, Atlantic coasts, Gulf of Alaska, and the Bering Sea.

Sources:

The Maritime Executive, Los Angeles Times, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), NBC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.