Santa Barbara Boat Fire Leaves 34 Dead


On Labor Day, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, a fire broke out on the 75-foot diving vessel Conception. There were 39 passengers and crew on board the Conception that morning. Yet, rescuers could only save five crew members; the remaining 34 passengers perished. We do know that all passengers and one crew member were asleep below deck when the fire started. The fire blocked the two exits. Santa Barbara County is leading an extensive investigation to find the cause of the fire.

The Boating Accident Investigation Gets Underway

First responders and the Coast Guard will work with a team of 16 investigators for up to two weeks on-site. These investigators specialize in engineering, operations, and fire prevention. Additionally, the investigators will talk to the crew and Truth Aquatics, the owner of Conception. Four of the five crew members tested negative for alcohol, but drug tests results are pending.

The Conception is currently submerged underwater. Before they raise the boat, divers will photograph the wreckage and other evidence. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently waiting for documentation from Truth Aquatics. It will investigate the boat’s maintenance, training records, manuals, inspection reports, and licensing information. 

Santa Barbara Boating Accidents are Often Tragic

In 2017, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,291 boating accidents on the water. These accidents resulted in 2,629 injuries, 658 deaths and over $46 million dollars of damage to property. Furthermore, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned and 84.5% of those were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident. 

Contact Our Santa Barbara Boat Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love was hurt in a boat accident in Santa Barbara or anywhere in California, it is important to know your legal rights. If another person’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to collect compensation. An experienced Santa Barbara boat accident lawyer can help you during this difficult time. 

At James McKiernan Lawyers, we know what insurance companies do to reduce their liabilities. We then use this knowledge to build a solid case for our clients for maximum compensation. Call us today at 800-200-HURT for a free initial consultation or fill out our confidential contact form

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