Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Some dead, 34 unaccounted for after boat fire off California coast

Some dead, 34 unaccounted for after boat fire off California coast

He said that rescue agencies actively were searching for 33 passengers from the ship as well as a missing crew member, using both aircraft and surface ships, but that the effort was hampered by dense early morning fog. The boat became engulfed in flames around 3:30 a.m. shortly after a mayday call. I think there will be a lot of questions - of course, yet to be answered - about the fact that the crew was taken off the boat but not sure what's happening with the rest of the passengers and those on this apparent commercial diving operation.

Earlier, five crew members were rescued on a good Samaritan pleasure craft called Great Escape.

"At some point they're going to have to make a determination of when the best time is to actually either refloat that vessel and attempt to recover anyone who may be inside, or to try to make the recovery while it's still on the ocean floor", said Brown. "We have to hope, but we plan for worst-case scenario".

"They tell you where the life jackets are, how to put them on. the exits, where the fire extinguishers are, on every single trip", said Schuller.

The dive boat Conception was carrying at least 39 people, officials said. He is heard in the audio saying he can't breath.

Rochester earlier said the vessel was in compliance with regulations.

The boat's owner, Truth Aquatics, referred queries about the accident to a joint media center. Brown said nothing has indicated the fire was the result of an explosion, but he also said the ferocity of the blaze "could have been" the result of scuba or propane tanks exploding.

The fireplace broke out aboard the vessel Conception at round 3am native time without work Santa Cruz Island, a part of a series of rugged wind-swept isles that kind Channel Islands Nationwide Park within the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles.

Rescuers from multiple jurisdictions were on the scene off Santa Cruz Island looking for survivors.

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Several charter operations run diving expeditions around the Channel Islands.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's coroner office is preparing for the possibility of a mass casualty incident, said Erik Raney, public information officer with the coroner's office. He says five others have been found but not recovered due to unsafe conditions under the boat, which sank in about 60 feet (18 meters) of water.

"The vessel was reported as being on fire", the Coast Guard said in a tweet, adding that crew members working on the 75-foot boat have been rescued.

Five crew members who were sleeping on the top deck managed to escape the blaze.

It was on the final day of a three-day scuba diving trip for the Labor Day weekend.

Authorities responded to a call for fire and rescue support in the Platts Harbor area of Santa Cruz Island before 4 a.m., he said.

When asked if the crew tried to help others before fleeing, Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester said she had no "additional information".

"The main body of fire has been extinguished with a few hot spots still remaining", McGrath said.

"You couldn't ask for a worse situation", the sheriff said.

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