Scuba diving can be incredibly fun and enlightening for those that seek adventures in which only the sea can provide. However, fun times turned to tragic mourning over Labor Day when frantic mayday calls filled the radio waves from a scuba charter boat called The Conception.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the mayday calls coming from the vessel stating that those individuals were locked inside the boat. When investigators arrived, the fires were roaring in a massive blaze on the boat. Five crew members were aboard the ship during this time and were rescued immediately upon approaching the boat.
So far, here is what we know about the loss of life.
- 25 people are confirmed dead.
- 9 more remain missing.
- 4-6 bodies have been spotted by divers, but have yet to be retrieved.
The Conception was chartered by Worldwide Diving Adventures which has been taking divers on expeditions since the 1970’s. The inspection records of the ship were recorded in February and in August of last year and it showed that the officials inspecting the boat found no safety violations.
However, fire safety protocols had been an issue in the past in 2014 and 2016. The former, being a simple heat detector in the galley, and the latter being a leaky fire hose. Since 2014, all other safety violations had been addressed and replaced by the owners of the charter.
When it comes to safety you can never be too careful. Especially when it comes to expeditions. Anytime you go to a chartering company for a boat you should always be safety conscious first before anything else. Here are some things you should look for:
- What does the charter’s insurance cover?
- Are there enough life jackets that fit properly and are fully functioning type 1 PFDs?
- Is the captain or crew trained in CPR and First Aid?
- Are there two engines instead of just one in case something happens to one of them?
- Is the captain licensed by the US Coast Guard?
- Are there available records for safety checks on the boating company?
- Consult with other charters in case there had been issues in the past.