Left Menu
Development News Edition

U.S. Coast Guard issues lithium battery warning following California boat fire

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 12-09-2019 04:50 IST | Created: 12-09-2019 04:49 IST
U.S. Coast Guard issues lithium battery warning following California boat fire
Image Credit:

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a safety bulletin following the Labor Day fire on a California dive boat that killed 34 people, focusing on emergency escape routes, crew training and the charging of lithium-ion batteries.

The Coast Guard did not identify a cause of the early-morning blaze aboard the 75-foot (23-meter) Conception in the bulletin, and the incident remains under investigation by multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies. But the document suggests that investigators may be looking into the possibility that the fire was ignited by passengers charging electronic devices in the below-decks sleeping quarters and could not escape once flames were raging in the cramped space.

"A Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) has been convened and will conduct a thorough and comprehensive marine casualty investigation to determine the causal factors that contributed to this tragic incident," the bulletin states. It adds: "The Coast Guard and the maritime industry do not have to delay until the MBI has completed their investigation before taking immediate and positive action.

The Conception, owned by California-based Truth Aquatics, ignited at about 3:15 a.m. on Sept. 2, killing 33 passengers and a crew member as it sank off Santa Cruz Island.


Five crew members who were above deck when the fire broke out survived by leaping overboard, telling investigators the fierce blaze made it impossible to rescue the passengers. The victims are believed to have died of smoke inhalation. Divers have recovered the remains of 33 people and hope to retrieve the final body when the Conception is raised from the ocean floor as early as Thursday. Weather conditions have repeatedly delayed that operation.

The Coast Guard bulletin recommends that vessel owners "immediately" review crew training, make sure emergency escape routes are clearly identified and unobstructed and that required fire-fighting and live-saving equipment are on board. The document also urges crews to "reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords."

The Los Angeles Times has reported that investigators had identified possible safety lapses on the Conception, including the lack of a night watchman and failure to properly train the crew for emergencies. Truth Aquatics has filed a petition in federal court in Los Angeles seeking to avoid liability by invoking a 19th-century law that has been used in such disasters as the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Also Read: Some 40 people drown off coast of Libya after boat disaster on Mediterranean



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...


Latest News

Monsoon withdrawal from Delhi likely by midweek

Conditions are favourable for the withdrawal of monsoon from Delhi by the mid of this week, the meteorological MeT department said on Sunday. The wind system had reached the national capital on June 25, two days earlier than normal.Conditio...

Two militants killed in encounter in J-K's Pulwama

Two unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmirs Pulwama district on Sunday, police said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the Samboora area of Awantipora in the sout...

Jaswant Singh passes away; Prez, PM lead tributes

Former Union minister Jaswant Singh, one of the founding members of the BJP and a close associate of ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, died here on Sunday following a long spell of illness. He was 82. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime ...

Assam Police test paper leak: SLPRB chairman tenders

Assam State Level Police Recruitment Board Chairman Pradeep Kumar resigned on Sunday, taking moral responsibility for the police recruitment exam paper leak that resulted in the cancellation of the written test. The scheduled recruitment te...

Give Feedback