NTSB to Lead Safety Investigation of Conception Boat Fire
Adam Tucker and Jennifer Homendy of NTSB
By edhat staff
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced they would be leading the safety investigation of the Conception boat fire.
During a press conference outside the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Tuesday afternoon, NTSB Board Member Jennifer Homendy stated their mission is to determine how this happened, why it happened, and to implement safety improvements to prevent this from happening again.
"This is a terrible tragedy," said Homendy.
The NTSB is a federal agency that investigates accidents in aviation, highway, marine, rail & pipeline and makes recommendations to improve transportation safety. Homendy stated NTSB will lead the investigation as this has major marine casualties, but the Coast Guard will conduct its own safety and enforcement investigation where both agencies can work together.
Homendy was joined by Adam Tucker who will lead the charge of the investigation with a team of 16 experts in various fields. She also stated this is not their first investigation of a fire on a small passenger vessel citing the NTSB report of a boat fire off Port Richey, FL on December 11, 2018.
NTSB arrived on scene at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday and immediately received a thorough briefing from the Coast Guard. An organizational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night to establish the specific investigative teams, but their investigation has already begun.
"100% our investigators will determine the cause of this fire, why it occurred, how it occurred, and what is needed to prevent it from happening again, absolutely," said Homendy.
They plan to be on scene for 7 to 10 days where investigators can collect evidence. Homendy stressed they will not determine a cause of the fire while on scene, but it will come later. She also stated they will not speculate on circumstances but only provide facts.
It takes anywhere from 12 to 24 months for a final report to be released, however, a preliminary report will be released 10 days after the accident.
Although they have the identities of people they'd like to interview including the crew, companies involved, and first responders. They also plan as well as look at the vessel operations, environment, and training.
The NTSB is also asking for photos, videos, and anything else that will help their investigation. Those with information should email witness@NTSB.gov
Daily press briefings are scheduled for the news two days.