Dive boat fire off California

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Dive boat fire off California

September 02, 2019 - 16:42
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Unconfirmed reports are coming in on social media that a dive boat is on fire off the California coast, north coast of Santa Cruz Island.

The Public Information Officers of the Ventura County Fire Department tweeted that it "has launched multiple rescue assets along with assets from local agencies to assist more than 30 people in distress".

"The vessel was reported as being on fire. US Los Angeles Coastguard Tweet

The US Los Angeles Coast Guard stated that a group of crew members had been rescued (one with minor injuries) and efforts were being made to evacuate the remaining passengers.

The Numbers

Various numbers have been quoted. It is thought that the 34 passengers were trapped below deck, and they are now feared dead. There are also quotes that five crew members have been rescued.

It is probable that the vessel is the 'Conception'. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has confirmed that the boat has burned down to the water line.

Bill Nash, the Ventura County public information officer, told CNN: "It's a large boat (75 ft / 22.8 mt), and we know we have numerous fatalities. I don't have an exact number."

Update: 3 September 2019 11:00 UTC+1

A number of main media reports have confirmed that the 'Conception' has sunk following a fire during the early hours of Monday 2 September 2019. The BBC has reported that 25 bodies have been recovered, five crew members survived, and it is thought nine people are still missing, presumed dead. At the time of writing this, it is not know how the fire started.

Nothing in the [Mayday] broadcast from the vessel... indicated there was an initial explosion. Sheriff Brown

A Mayday call was made at 03.30 local time stating the boat was engulfed in flames.