Divers Recover Final Missing Boat Fire Victim

13 Septembre, 2019, 10:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • KABC-TV shows divers resuming their search for the final missing victim who perished in a boat fire off the Southern California coast Wednesday Sept. 11 2019. The victim is one of 34 who died at sea last week near Santa

The bodies were pulled from the submerged wreckage of a chartered dive boat that caught fire before dawn on September 2 near the Channel Islands, about a mile off the coast of Santa Barbara.

Searchers recovered the body of the last missing victim from the Conception boat disaster on Wednesday.

"The Conception Incident Unified Command is relieved to report that search-and-recovery efforts today were successful in locating the last missing victim", according to the sheriff's department.

In total, 39 people - 33 passengers and six crew members - were aboard the 75-foot Conception for a Labor Day weekend diving excursion when the boat erupted into flames at 3:30 a.m. that Monday morning.

With the assistance of rapid DNA technology, the Coroner's Office is working to confirm the identities of the seven unidentified victims.

The document also urges crews to "reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords".

The Coast Guard did not identify a cause of the fire in its safety bulletin, and the incident remains under investigation by multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies.

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The bulletin also suggests that owners and operators of vessels review emergency duties with the crew, identify emergency escapes, check all firefighting and lifesaving equipment onboard, and look at the condition of passenger accommodation spaces for "unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements".

While it's not yet clear what the report will address, NTSB member Jennifer Homendy has said investigators are looking at several factors, including how batteries and electronics were stored and charged.

The survivors, which included the boat's captain, managed to escape by taking refuge in a nearby boat called the Grape Escape, which they reached on a dinghy after reportedly attempting to rescue the people below deck.

U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday that Rear Adm. Richard Timme has convened a formal Marine Board of Investigation, the highest-level marine casualty investigation, to prob the cause of the fire.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that investigators had identified possible safety lapses on the Conception, including the lack of a night watchman and failure to properly train the crew for emergencies. The probe is expected to last at least a year.

Authorities have said the victims, 21 women and 13 men from 16 to 62 years old, appear to have died from smoke inhalation.

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