Rough Seas Suspend Search for Final Victim of Boat Fire

on Sep8
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This Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, file photo provided by Santa Barbara County shows divers and support crews from many agencies working the scene of a dive boat fire off Santa Cruz Island, Calif. The search for the final victim of the boat fire off the Southern California coast has been suspended until early next week because of gusty winds and rough seas. Authorities said they also suspended efforts to salvage the boat Conception off of Santa Cruz Island because the conditions were expected to last through the weekend.

What to Know

  • Authorities received a distress call from the burning boat early on Labor Day morning.

  • The diving boat was just north of Santa Cruz Island, off the Ventura County coast, when it caught fire.

  • All 34 people who were below deck died and five crew members were rescued.

The search for the final victim of a boat fire off the Southern California coast has been suspended until early next week because of gusty winds and rough seas.

Authorities said they also suspended efforts to salvage the Conception off of Santa Cruz Island because the conditions were expected to last through the weekend.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney says the Conception has been secured underwater, where it will remain until it is safe to resume the salvage operation.

Thirty-four scuba divers died when the boat caught fire and sank before dawn on Monday. They were sleeping in a cramped bunkroom below the main deck and their escape routes were blocked by fire.

Vigil Held for 34 Victims of Scuba Boat Tragedy

[LA] Vigil Held for 34 Victims of Scuba Boat Tragedy

Medical examiners say the victims appear to have died from smoke inhalation.



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