33 Missing After Dive Boat Catches Fire
[Update: Sept. 2, 2019, 9:17 a.m.] The Coast Guard confirmed the Conception was a Truth Aquatics boat, a well-known charter company based at Sea Landing in Santa Barbara Harbor. No updates were available on the missing people, the Coast Guard spokesperson said, but three boats and a helicopter were at the scene, and a dive team and second helicopter en route.
[Original Story] A dive boat based out of Santa Barbara Harbor caught fire around 3 a.m. on Monday off Santa Cruz Island, and 33 people are estimated to be missing. Five were rescued by a nearby private boat, the Great Escape. An unknown number are feared dead as the search continues; Ventura County Fire confirmed 38 people were on board. The boat was a commercial charter, carrying divers on a Labor Day trip to Santa Cruz Island, which is about 27 miles from Santa Barbara. They were caught below decks sleeping when the fire broke out, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Coast Guard reports the Conception radioed a mayday call at 3:15 a.m. Responding crews
found the 75-foot vessel fully engulfed, and crews from Ventura and Santa
Barbara fire departments tried to put out the flames. The boat sank 20 yards
offshore in 64 feet of water; the prow remains exposed. Helicopters from San
Diego and Pt. Mugu Coast Guard stations are assisting in the search for the
This story will be updated as information becomes available.