A diving boat caught fire off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, multiple fatalities

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Aircraft and surface ships are used on the search. Multiple people were dead. Five crew members had been rescued from the boat. Santa Cruz Island , at about 18 miles from the mainland, is part of the Channel Islands National Park, off the coast of Ventura. The waters are cold even in late summer. Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist  responded at the scene.

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The „Conception” vessel was on a three-day Labor Day diving excursion and previously visited several diving spots around Santa Cruz Island. After accident, the captain is still at scene. The boat was anchored when the fire started to burn. The fire happened overnight, and the sleeping quarters were below deck.  „The fire was so intense that even after it was put out, we’re not able to actually embark the vessel and, you know, look for survivors at this point. It’s still ongoing,” Coast Guard Senior Chief Aaron Bemis told.

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