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USBoat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast

12:31  03 september  2019
12:31  03 september  2019 Source:   losangeles.cbslocal.com

Vigil held for 34 killed in California dive boat fire

Vigil held for 34 killed in California dive boat fire SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The 34 people who died in a diving boat fire off Southern California are being remembered by those who shared their love of the sea. Hundreds turned out Friday evening for a vigil at a Santa Barbara park. The dead were "our friends and our family members. Our common love of diving binds us together for eternity," said Don Barthelmess, a local dive instructor. Thirty-four scuba tanks lined the stage. 

Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Boat Fire Victims Mourned As Rescue Operation Continues Off Ventura Coast
Slideshow by photo services

SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) — Flowers, candles and even a pair of scuba fins marked the dock in Santa Barbara where the Conception Charter Boat was scheduled to return Monday night.

In what is now one of the worst boating tragedies in California history, the United States Coast Guard has confirmed that 25 people are dead and nine are still missing.

The five crew members who survived — two with leg injuries — were brought to safety by a pair of good Samaritans who happened to be anchored nearby.

“I heard ‘Help,'” Shirley Hanson said. “And my husband got up, and I followed him and he opened the door and saw the flames.

Shirley and her husband Bob said some of the crew members who were able to get to safety attempted to return to the burning vessel to help those still aboard, but were thwarted by the sheer size of the flames.

“And he cried, because he said they celebrated three birthdays that night, and one of them was a 17-year-old girl who was there with her parents,” Shirley said.

As word of the fire got out, families with loved ones on the boat rushed to the harbor, including a heartbroken couple whose son they said was on the boat.

Diane McCullough who lives in Santa Barbara fears that she will know someone who was on the boat, but she said the community will come together to help those mourning this tragedy.

“Just like every other city that has had some trauma across the nation, I mean everybody pulls together,” she said. “And that’s what we will do.”

A family crisis center was set up just down the street from the harbor where officials said 20 families came Monday after hearing the news. Officials expect even more to show up in the following days.

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