33 People Feared Dead After Southern California Dive Boat Catches Fire Today

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75-foot dive boat on fire this morning before dawn. photo: ventura county fire department

According to the Coast Guard, up to 33 people are feared dead after a 75-foot commercial dive boat caught fire around 3am Monday morning, September 2nd 2019, off the Southern California coast.

According to the Coast Guard, 5 crewmembers who were sleeping on the deck were rescued by another boat named Great Escape.

The other 33 people who were sleeping below deck have not yet been found according to Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll.

President Donald Trump showed interest in this event, retweeting 3 tweets by the US Coast Guard.

75-foot dive boat on fire this morning before dawn. photo: ventura county fire department

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll told the AP that they were searching for survivors who may have jumped from the boat into the water to escape the flames.

Kroll also stated that 33 people are feared dead.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney reports that 2 of the crew suffered minor injuries.

At approximately 3:15 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call via channel 16 of an engulfed 75-foot commercial diving vessel with 38 people aboard.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded. The fire department crews were fighting the fire when the vessel sank 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water.

Five people were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft Great Escape.

Currently, 33 people aboard the vessel are unaccounted for. – US Coast Guard today

75-foot dive boat on fire this morning before dawn. photo: Santa Barbara county fire department

Capt. Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department confirmed that some people died in the blaze but did not give an exact number.

It’s being reported that a fire broke out aboard the 75-foot dive boat named Conception before dawn today likely around 3am.

Conception was on the final day of a 3-day Labor Day weekend cruise to the Channel Islands.

“At 3:15 this morning the Coast Guard overheard a mayday call. The call was garbled, it was not that clear, but we were able to get some information out of it to send vessels on scene.” – Capt. Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department

75-foot dive boat on fire this morning before dawn. photo: Santa Barbara county fire department

The vessel Conception was operated by Worldwide Diving Adventures, a Santa Barbara-based company that has been operating since 1972 according to their website.

The Coast Guard currently has helicopters, boats, and a patrol cutter searching for survivors off Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles from Los Angeles.

McGrath reports that firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, but the boat sank anyway.

“We were able to extinguish the fire before it got to the water line but a couple waves were able to take on the boat.” – Capt. Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department

COAST GUARD PRESS RELEASE:

 

Coast Guard, local agencies responding to boat fire near Santa Cruz Island

Coast Guard, local agencies responding to boat fire near Santa Cruz Island

SAN PEDRO, Calif – Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding to a vessel fire near Santa Cruz Island Monday.

At approximately 3:15 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call via channel 16 of an engulfed 75-foot commercial diving vessel with 38 people aboard.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded. The fire department crews were fighting the fire when the vessel sank 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water.

Five people were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft Great Escape.

Currently, 33 people aboard the vessel are unaccounted for.

Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews, a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu Dolphin MH-65 helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Air Station San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal. 

The vessel currently has a portion of the bow sticking out of the water.

-USCG-

Map showing location of Santa Cruz Island near where the fire occurred.

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