California Boat Fire

Sadie Cooper, reporter

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 On Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, a diving boat, called the Conception, took 33 people and six crew members just off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, North of Los Angeles. Early that morning at about 3:30 am, the boat caught fire killing at least eight people. 

      Four more bodies were found on the ocean floor, but they were unable to recover them immediately said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown at a news conference on Monday afternoon. Making the count up to at least 12 people and they are still looking for more survivors. 

      Five of the six crew members were awake and above deck when the fire started. They jumped overboard and were saved by someone in a boat, called the Grape Escape, said U.S. Coast guard Captain Monica Rochester.  As far as we know, 34 of the 39 people were sleeping below deck when the fire started. They have planes and boats searching for survivors, but Rochester said that she fears the worst. They searched throughout the day and into the night then well into the next morning, but Rochester said that people should all be prepared for the worst. Brown is still holding out hope that they will find more survivors. 

They have sent in a team to investigate the situation said The National Transportation Safety. The Conception, which is operated by Truth Aquatics out of Santa Barbara, was completely up to safety and licensing standards, said Rochester. 

      Bob Hansen, who was the owner of the boat that picked up the five crew members that jumped overboard, were in their boat about 400 yards away from the boat that caught fire. They were sleeping at the time of the fire but were awakened by the sound of banging on their boat. It was the five members of the crew that were able to jump. One of the crew members had a broken leg. They were all very distraught according to Hansen, some were even crying. 

      They continued searching for the next few days. It has been confirmed that all passengers, but the five crew members, were found dead.

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