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California dive boat fire kills at least 25

05 September 2019

The bodies of 25 people have been found after a commercial dive boat caught fire off the Californian coast on September 2. The Conception had been anchored near Santa Cruz Island, about 145km off the coast of Santa Barbara, when the fire broke out.

Representative image: USCG
Representative image: USCG

The US Coastguard deployed helicopters and fireboats to combat the blaze, but the vessel sank without anyone on board being saved. Other than the 25 confirmed dead, a further nine are missing. There were 33 passengers on board, all of whom were asleep below when the fire broke out, and six crew members.

The captain and four crew members escaped by jumping into an inflatable.

The Conception was on the final day of a three-day weekend dive expedition to the Channel Islands National Park when the fire broke out.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a team to investigate the cause of the fire.

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