Weekend Reads: California boat fire: What happened after "Conception" left harbor - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend ReadsCalifornia boat fire: What happened after "Conception" left harbor

14:05  04 september  2019
14:05  04 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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A middle-of-the-night fire swept a boat carrying recreational scuba divers anchored near an island off the Southern California coast early Monday, leaving The Coast Guard and law enforcement said no one has been found alive after flames tore through the dive boat early Monday as passengers on a

There are 19 commercial diving boats like the Conception operating off the Southern California Coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara, according to the Fires on the open water can quickly turn deadly. That the fire on the Conception broke out overnight, while passengers were asleep, appears to have

A Labor Day weekend scuba excursion in open water near Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, ended in tragedy after a boat carrying more than three dozen people caught fire overnight.

All 33 passengers and one crew member are assumed dead, officials said.

Authorities reported in a press conference Tuesday that the remains of 20 victims had been recovered, including 11 females and 9 males. Fourteen victims remain missing.

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California boat fire kills at least 25 people – video report. But the number of casualties and the way they died was tough to process, said Aldana, who came to the Santa Barbara harbor with 34 candles. “If the boat went up in flames, you’d think they would jump in the water,” he said.

What happened . In the predawn hours on Monday, a haunting distress call was apparently made from a commercial scuba diving vessel named the Conception . Bob and Shirley Hansen, the owners of a fishing boat that was moored overnight several hundred feet from the Conception , said they saw fire

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire. Authorities said Tuesday that there was no indication that an explosion had occurred. Passengers were unable to get out because both the main stairwell and escape hatch were likely blocked by fire. It is unclear whether passengers were actually asleep when they died, U.S. Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester said.

California boat fire: What happened after "Conception" left harbor© CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SANTA BARBARA COUNTY FIRE A fire overtook the 79-foot Conception early Monday morning. The vessel was anchored off Santa Cruz Island.

Here's what we know about how the tragedy unfolded:

Saturday, August 31 — Conception leaves Santa Barbara Harbor

4 a.m. The boat "Conception" leaves Santa Barbara Harbor for a recreational scuba diving trip, going on to tour Santa Cruz Island’s south side that afternoon. On board the vessel charted by Truth Aquatics are six crew members and 33 passengers.

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Firefighters had difficulty snuffing out the fast-moving fire , Bemis said. Each time it was Authorities responded to a call for fire and rescue support in the Platts Harbor area of Santa Cruz Island before According to Truth Aquatics website, which conducts boat charters, Conception left Saturday on a

Firefighters battled to contain the blaze. What happened ? The 75ft Conception boat was hosting a £550-a-head diving trip for the Coastguard chief Aaron Bemis said: "The report we got was they were trapped by the fire . "The fire was so intense that even after it was put out, we're not able to actually

11 p.m. Conception stops for the night on the island’s east side.

Sunday, September 1 — Conception continues island tour

Conception tours Santa Cruz Island’s northwest side before looking for a place to dock for the night near the island.

Monday, September 2 — A fire sinks Conception

12:05 a.m. According to MarineTraffic.com, Conception's last recorded location was near Platts Harbor. Law enforcement later confirmed the boat docked 20 yards from the shore of Santa Cruz Island.

Around 3 a.m. Asleep on another boat, the Grape Escape, Bob Hansen and his wife awoke to knocking on the side of their vessel. Five crew members had escaped in a dingy. In the distance, Hansen could see Conception fully ablaze.

"They were not just in shock but several were crying,’’ said Bob Hansen, 70. “One guy was in a tremendous amount of pain (with a broken leg). The captain was all shook up. Nothing can prepare you for that. For myself, it was like, ‘I can’t do anything here. I’m freaking helpless.’ It’s like an airplane (crash). What are you going to do after it’s already hit the ground?’’

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Five crew members escape but 33 passengers and one other crew member missing or dead.

Conception , what is the emergency? Over!’ the operator says, referring to the diving tour boat . Five Conception crew members who were awake and on deck when the fire broke out jumped into the Passengers boarded the boat on Friday night and it took off from Santa Barbara Harbor on Saturday

Instead of heading back toward the Conception, Hansen said the boat's captain suggested he contact the Coast Guard instead.

3:15 a.m. A distress call is made to the Coast Guard. Authorities later said a call was made from the Conception and others from the Great Escape. In audio of a call on Broadcastify that authorities suggested may have been edited to combine multiple calls, only the Coast Guard dispatcher can be heard, not the responses.

The dispatcher asks if passengers are trapped and if there's an escape hatch.

3:30 a.m. The Coast Guard arrives on scene and begins to fight the fire.

7:20 a.m. Conception sinks in 64 feet of water off the coast of Santa Cruz Island.

8:40 a.m.James Kohls arrives at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Channel Island, waiting to hear from his brother Mike, who he says is a cook and a deckhand on the Conception.

"I haven't heard from anybody," Kohls said.

9 a.m. At a press conference, the Coast Guard says that 34 people are unaccounted for and that shoreline searches on the island are underway. The department also says that the five crew members were asleep on the top deck while passengers were asleep below deck.

Police searching for man who fell off boat into St. Lawrence River

Police searching for man who fell off boat into St. Lawrence River Quebec provincial police believe the man could have ejected from the boat near La Prairie as it was making a turn. They say he was not wearing a life jacket. Firefighters fished out a body around 5 p.m., but it was not the man they were searching for. Police say the body had been underwater for a long time. A Canadian Armed Forces helicopter assisted in the search. The search will resume Monday morning.

- A middle-of-the-night fire swept a boat carrying recreational scuba divers anchored near an island off the Southern California coast early Monday, leaving at least 25 dead and nine others missing. The Conception , based in Santa Barbara Harbor on the mainland, was owned by Truth Aquatics, a Santa

The diving boat Conception embarked on a three-day excursion throughout Labor Day weekend around the northern Channel Islands by the California In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a dive boat is engulfed in flames after a deadly fire broke out aboard the

11:15 a.m. The Coast Guard announces that four bodies have been found near the Conception.

4 p.m. At an afternoon press conference, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says four more bodies have been found, increasing the death toll to eight victims.

9:44 p.m. The Coast Guard says that 25 bodies have been found, but 9 remain still missing.

Tuesday, September 3 — Mourning and search for answers

7:15 a.m. A memorial on the Santa Barbara dock entrance, which began the night before, continues to grow.

9:40 a.m. The Coast Guard suspends search effort after search via air, water and ground was conducted over a 160-mile area, according to Capt. Monica Rochester.

10:00 a.m. At a press conference, Sheriff Brown says no additional survivors have been found, adding that the victims ranged from age 17 to 60, with the majority being from the Bay Area.

Brown indicated that one crew member had been asleep in the passenger's quarters and that the five surviving crew members would be formally interviewed by the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. He said there was no indication passengers got onto the deck and that it "appeared" the victims had most likely been trapped by fire.

Capt. Rochester added that the ship would not have had locked doors and also had firefighting equipment aboard when it was last inspected by the Coast Guard.

3:20 p.m. At a press conference by the National Transportation Safety Board, board member Jennifer Homendy said the organization's investigation would include collecting perishable evidence, talking to parties involved and asking for the public's help in providing them with any other details, such as photos or videos of the vessel.

Homendy said such investigations can take anywhere from one to two years, but that she was "100 percent confident" her organization would determine how and why the fire began and what would be needed to prevent such an event from happening again.

Follow Nate Chute on Twitter: @nchute

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: California boat fire: What happened after "Conception" left harbor

Water complicates the investigation into fatal boat crash involving Kevin O’Leary, expert says.
Water complicates the investigation into fatal boat crash involving Kevin O’Leary, expert says

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