Family of 5 among 34 presumed dead in dive boat fire

National News

September 4, 2019 - 10:20 AM

A 75-foot commercial diving boat caught fire off the coast of Ventura County, trapping dozens of people. (Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Dept.)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — High school students, a science teacher and his daughter, an adventurous marine biologist and a family of five celebrating a birthday are among those presumed dead after a fire engulfed a scuba diving boat off Southern California’s coast, trapping dozens of sleeping people below deck.

Authorities on Tuesday ended the search for survivors of Monday’s pre-dawn fire aboard the Conception. It was presumed that 34 people were dead. At least 20 bodies had been recovered and officials continued efforts to bring in other bodies spotted on the ocean bed. Some could be inside the sunken boat.

The only survivors were believed to be the captain and four crew members who were awake on the upper decks. They jumped off the front of the vessel, swam to an inflatable boat at its stern and steered it to a ship anchored nearby.

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