Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Tech | By Anita Cain

At least 34 people feared dead in boat fire off California

At least 34 people feared dead in boat fire off California

The company's website said the crew was using the Conception this weekend to visit San Miguel where divers were expecting to see a variety of interesting sea life.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the boat involved, named Conception, is a 75-foot dive boat based in Santa Barbara Harbor. Others are believed to have been asleep below deck.

The bodies, which were found near the fire-ravaged craft, had injuries consistent with drowning, a Coast Guard official said.

He said that five people had been rescued, one with a moderate injury.

Responding agencies, including the Coast Guard, were not immediately available to comment to PEOPLE.

She said the vessel sank in about 19.5 metres of water, adding its bow is still visible above the waterline.

The vessel appears to be a diving boat and reports say some passengers may be trapped below deck.

Earlier, authorities said they were searching for 34.

Asked if the boat operator has any history of violations, Ms Rochester said: "The vessel has been in full compliance".

Thirty-four people are confirmed to be missing, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department PIO Mike Eliason.

The Conception is one of three vessels - along with the Truth and the Vision - operated by Truth Aquatics out of Sea Landing at the Santa Barbara Harbor.

The Conception had departed at 4am on Saturday with plans to return on Monday evening.

Authorities have given fluctuating information about the number of people aboard the vessel.

The Daily Beast quoted Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department as saying that there were deaths.

The Coast Guard Los Angeles confirmed they have rescued five, CNN reported. The island is about 90 miles (145km) from Los Angeles.

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