The bodies of 33 people who died in the fire aboard a boat off the coast of California’s Santa Cruz Island have been recovered, according to Coast Guard officials. Authorities added that one person is still missing from the Conception, which caught fire and sank early Labor Day.
Only five crew members, who were able to jump overboard, survived the blaze. All of the boat’s passengers and sixth crew member were asleep below deck in the sleeping quarters and were trapped by the blaze.
As divers searched for the remaining victim on Wednesday, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s lieutenant Brian Olmstead said, “Our priority is trying to find the last victim and also items that would be of interest to find out what happened. You want to bring closure to the families.” (Los Angeles Times)
- The Conception is submerged in 60-to-65 feet of water.
- Investigators have interviewed four crew members and the owner of the company that operated the boat.
- Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board met with the families of the victims for two hours on Wednesday, saying, “They’re the most important people to us right now.”