Divers Recover 20 Bodies from California Boat Fire

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 3, 2019

Divers recovered the bodies of 20 of 34 people believed to have been killed after a fast-moving fire broke out aboard a dive boat off California's Santa Cruz Island, trapping the victims below deck, authorities said on Tuesday.

Search and rescue efforts were called off and recovery moves were underway, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and U.S. Coast Guard officials told a press conference.

Authorities will use so-called rapid DNA technology to identify the bodies, 11 females and 9 males, authorities said.

Other bodies were seen in the underwater wreckage. When water and weather conditions stabilize, crews will attempt to recover the remaining 14, authorities said.

The 75-foot (23 m) Conception caught fire about 3:15 a.m. Monday and sank. It was lying upside down under more than 60 feet (18 meters) of water, police said.

Five of the six-person crew who were above deck on the bridge managed to escape in an inflatable boat.

Reporting by Omar Younis

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