Posted on September 03, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
A fire erupted onboard the dive boat, Conception during the early hours of September the 2nd while the vessel was anchored off the coast of California.
The incident occurred at approximately 03:15 am on Monday morning, while the vessel was at anchorage off Santa Cruz Island.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector, Los Angeles-Long beach received a mayday call, and immediately dispatched rescue crews from the USCG, the Santa Barbara Fire Department and the Ventura County Fire Department.
Upon arrival, the vessels started fighting the fire but unfortunately, the ship proceeded to sink, some 20 meters offshore.
Reportedly, there were 39 people on board the vessel when the fire erupted, including 6 crew members and 33 passengers.
According to the initial reports, 5 crew members were awake and were above deck when the fire got started and were able to be saved by another vessel operating in the area.
Unfortunately, however, most passengers were asleep and located below deck at the time.
At least 25 bodies have been located by the USCG and 9 more are considered missing.
Several USCG helicopters have been coordinating with local law enforcement agencies in performing a search of the area, however, their efforts have been hampered by low visibility, due to the fog present in the area.
Authorities don’t yet know what events led to the fire, but a full investigation is underway in order to determine the cause of the accident.