At least 34 missing in California boat fire; five rescued: US Coast Guard

Reuters
Los Angeles, California, USA Published: Sep 02, 2019, 09:57 PM(IST)

A 75-foot (23-meter) vessel burns during a rescue operation off Santa Cruz Island, California. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Some local news outlets reported that rescuers said several people were dead, but the Coast Guard has not confirmed any fatalities in the fire which engulfed the Conception, a pleasured craft used by scuba divers.

A search was underway on Monday for 34 missing in a pre-dawn fire that sank a commercial diving boat off a Southern California island, authorities said, and some local media outlets reported that some passengers were killed.

Five crew members were rescued by a "good Samaritan pleasure craft" after the fire was reported at 3:15am local time as the 75-foot (23-meter) vessel sat about 20 yards (18 meters) off of Santa Cruz Island, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

"The crew was already awake and on the bridge and jumped off" Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester told a news conference.

Some local news outlets reported that rescuers said several people were dead, but the Coast Guard has not confirmed any fatalities in the fire which engulfed the Conception, a pleasured craft used by scuba divers.

The passengers had were all asleep below decks, according to the information the coast guard received, Rochester said.

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