Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

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Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations
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Photo: Truth Aquatics

By edhat staff

Truth Aquatics, the company that owned the Conception dive boat that caught fire killing 34 people last month, announced Tuesday they are officially suspending all operations.

The announcement was made on its website and states:

"With the continued calls and request for tours, we want to announce that we are officially suspending all operations of our Truth Aquatic fleet for a to-be-determined amount of time. We apologize to our customers who have been seeking reservations as well as those with reservations – and truly appreciate the expressions of support. Right now we feel it’s important dedicate our entire efforts to make our boats models of new regulations that we will continue to work on with the NTSB and Coast Guard."

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and U.S. Coast Guard are continuing its investigation into what caused the Labor Day fire. The preliminary NTSB report did not point to a cause but stated all five surviving crew members were asleep at the time of the fire and the Conception did not have a roving night watchman as required by the Coast Guard.

The 33 passengers and 1 crew member were sleeping below deck and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner states their injuries are consistent with smoke inhalation. The NTSB stated a full report detailing the cause of the fire will not be available for another 12 to 18 months.

Truth Aquatics owns two other vessels, Truth and Vision, which have been docked since the fire. The U.S. Coast Guard has not placed restrictions on the company's operations. 

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CaptainObvious Oct 03, 2019 03:54 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Take heed Ya Scallywags thar be a storm a churnin... Be Hollywood Director Kid.. "Stick it to the Man in I.V".. Go to Chino prison, learn and refine "I didn see nuthin" skills.. Get free, join the cashless society of fishermen.. Apply "new skills" towards writing, politics and become a consultant to the city.. Become "the Man" as Santa Barbara Harbormaster.. Look the other way for 20 years.. Aid and abet questionable business practices, prevent "yachtification.. Really "Stick it to the man" by retiring, right when the entire planet questions your qualifications and integrity.. Get great yelp reviews.. “The good seaman weathers the storm he cannot avoid, and avoids the storm he cannot weather.”

CaptainObvious Oct 03, 2019 03:43 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Ahoy Mateys ..... Be Dive Boat Company with brand new boats.. Blast "Rock Lobster" for forty years.. Grow lazy, complacent, rich and hubristic.. Ignore instinct, conscience and any other inner voice warning you of impending doom.. Be uninterested in costly, forward thinking upgrades.. Maintain pristine cosmetic appeal instead.. Have major catastrophe and litigate to keep your wealth from the families of the deceased.. Become "the Example and the Reason" to change Federal Laws.... Get great yelp reviews.... ... Produce "Sea Captains" by the litter.. Hire young, low skilled employees..Pay them badly, promise them "Sea Time for their "Captain's License".. Get years of loyal service from underpaid, uninsured, independently contracted, indentured servants.. Teach them that safety is relative to facebook likes and yelp reviews.. Incorporate them into illegal and nefarious collusion to really get them hooked into "accompliceship".. Get USCG to approve "Sea Time" for replicating the same four voyages, in and around the same local harbor and vicinity.. USCG Issues identical "Captain License" as military trained captains with thousands of miles and years of global experience.. Get great yelp reviews.. What could go wrong?..

CaptainObvious Oct 03, 2019 03:24 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

..."Right now we feel it’s important dedicate our entire efforts to ...avoiding bankruptcy and prison and we are doing anything the Federal Investigators ask of us .... "..... Aye Aye Sir!.

Coolio Oct 03, 2019 10:12 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

The captain should be charged with dereliction of duty or criminal negligence. The safety of those passengers was his responsibility and he failed miserably.

Concerned4Calif Oct 02, 2019 10:16 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

I hope this suspension is temporary. Truth Aquatics provided an important service to the community. Having to go out of business serves no future long-term or over-arching benefit. People will have to drive to Ventura and travel on a different boat with a different company but risks will continue. They maybe new risks or old risks but there are always risks and we take risks every day just taking a shower or driving to work.

bigone Oct 02, 2019 09:49 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

I now store all my lithium-ion batteries in "Bat Safes" when not in use or when recharging. (https://www.bat-safe.com/). They sell for about $60 and are well worth the price as they are far more effective than the fiberglass bags sometimes used for storage. We are surrounded by these type of batteries in cell phones, cameras, laptops, cordless power tools, electric vehicles, etc. Lithium-ion batteries are normally safe, but there is no doubt that they can potentially explode and/or catch fire - normally when overcharging, blunt force such as dropping that can rupture the case, or a manufacture defect that causes the anode and cathode to short out. You can purchase a special type of fire extinguisher that is effective for these fires, which are extremely stubborn to control - regular extinguishers won't work. While rare, these things do happen and there was, in fact, an electric car up the street from us that caught fire and was destroyed about two years ago. I go on several long-range fishing trips a year and everyone plugs in their personal electronics to recharge both in the galley and stateroom; I am almost certain the Conception fire will be traced to this and I am quite sure new regulations will address this issue. I will be going on a seven day trip out of San Diego at the end of November and it will be interesting to see how new regulations regarding recharging these devices will be handled.

bigone Oct 02, 2019 10:12 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Zorro and others - of course there is speculation that lithium-ion batteries caused the fire as are many theories, and yes, I am waiting for the official investigation results like everyone else. But it is a fact that many were aboard. Regardless of what started the fire, heat from any type of fire will cause l-i batteries to explode and catch fire themselves, contributing to a catastrophic event. I simply point out the inherent dangers these batteries pose and that one should be diligent in their storage and use. Of course, everyone can do as they please regarding these batteries but I usually subscribe to the "better safe than sorry" category.

a-1585969631 Oct 02, 2019 08:43 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

My neighbor just had his garage burn down by self ignition of a electric bike Li-ion battery. Same as used in cameras and dive equipment. He heard loud pops in his garage and when he went out to look, the battery was shooting off like a roman candle. He has TWO fire extinguishers that he emptied on the battery with no success. It took the fire department to doused the flame with a heavy soaking of hose. When he asked the fireman, the guy said it was his 3rd battery fire this year. Typically, flame retardant works great on electric fires. But the fireman said not with these. They've found the only way has been to flood the fire as the batteries continue to reignite. The bigger the battery the greater the risk. Also, as it's a $35B industry, many batteries are under no quality scrutiny manufactured in China.

asitis Oct 01, 2019 09:30 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

It's out there in Google Land if you care to dig— the Coast Guard has failed to warn the passenger vessel industry about the dangers of lithium ion batteries in consumer electronics (unlike the FAA ). Truth Aquatics and the poor souls of the Conception incident are all sad victims of this major neglect on the part of a government transportation agency. Lithium ion battery explosions and thermal runaway... such major catastrophic events could happen in your own home and you wouldn't be prepared because you didn't even know the potential existed and you certainly did not have the more advanced fire suppression equipment for it. Time for the Coast Guard to wake up!

jak Oct 02, 2019 07:15 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Asitis, the hazards of high capacity batteries in general and of sodium and lithium batteries in particular have been well known to people in the industry for a hundred years. The specific hazards of compact lithium ion batteries have been quite well publicized by industry associations and government agencies around the world. And it doesn’t hurt to repeat those cautions regularly. But in the article it states pretty clearly that the cause of the fire won’t be known for 12-18 months. Do you know something that the qualified professional investigators don’t? Or are you just upset and venting?

ypyetr Oct 02, 2019 02:55 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall ANYBODY stating that an lithium battery was involved. Plant your soap box on another corner...

a-1585969631 Oct 02, 2019 08:46 AM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

MRTUMP - why? Because they're old? Destroy all 40+ year old boats? Please keep your insanity to yourself.

CoastWatch Oct 01, 2019 04:29 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

This is another loss to the diving community as well. I dove off the Truth as a kid when it was brand new out of 22nd St in San Pedro back in '77

Flicka Oct 01, 2019 03:19 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

Very sad for the victims and the owners. Surely the crew knew about the need for one to stay awake. That part was out of the owners control since they weren't aboard.

two abbys Oct 01, 2019 07:25 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

I believe that the owners would bear responsibility if they cannot document that their training program for the crew specified the need for a roving night watchman.

oops Oct 01, 2019 03:06 PM
Truth Aquatics Suspends All Operations

unfortunately for SB, this looks to be the beginning of the end of TA. Lack ofa roving night watchman will be the unavoidable point of liability

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