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Santa Cruz Island boat fire: 34 feared dead after 75ft vessel bursts into flames

Santa Cruz Island boat fire: 34 feared dead after 75ft vessel bursts into flames


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Four bodies have been found and a further 29 people are feared dead after a 75 ft diving boat burst intoflamesoff the coast of California.

The fire reportedly broke out just before 5am (11 am GMT) this morning near Santa Cruz Island, close to Los Angeles, while passengers were asleep.

According to reports, five crew members managed to esca pethe vesselwhile one is being treated for a broken leg. Those that escaped were reportedly sleeping on the upper deck.

The rest remain “unaccounted for”, Santa Barbara County Fire Department PIO Mike Eliason said.

We’re still holding hope that someone may have swam to shore. When they anchor overnight they’re pretty close to shore.

We have to hope, but we plan for worst case scenario, “he said.

According toCNN, the boat was called ‘Conception,’ had left on Saturday for a three-day cruise and was scheduled to return today.

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The fire broke out just before 5am (11 am GMT) this morning

Fire officials say there are multiple fatalities

Emergency services remain at the scene, searching for any missing passengers.

The US Coast Guard were initially unable to board the boat because it kept reigniting, Senior Chief Aaron Bemis said.

“It keeps being extinguished and re-flashing, possibly due to the amount of fuel on board.

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“Unsure why, but it’s consistently being put out and re-flashing”.

“Multiple coast guard and local Ventura County Fire Department assets on scene, but we’re not able to yet breach the hull and see if there’s any survivors at this point. “

” I’m unaware of any survivors at this time, and I’m also no confirmed casualties at this time. too early to tell. “

The fire on the boat is extinguished

Rescuers were scrambling Monday to reach more than 30 people who were sleeping below deck

Photos shared on social media show firefighters tackling bright orange flames.

The Coastguard wrote onTwitter: “The Coast Guard has launched multiple rescue assets along with assets from local agencies to assist more than 30 people in distress on a 75 ft boat near Santa Cruz Island. ”

A tweet that followed says: “The vessel was reported as being on fire.

“The group of crew members has been rescued (one with minor injuries) and efforts continue to evacuate the remaining passengers.”

Ventura County officials say multiple people have died but the US Coast Guard is yet to confirm f

Jen Buesinger Sperry, a Good Day LA reporter, called it a “mass fatality” incident.

The boat is said to have been carrying divers when the fire broke out

Santa Cruz Island in California (stock photo)

CBS Newssay the boat had been carrying divers when the fire

The Conception reportedly left Santa Barbara on Saturday and visited several diving spots around Santa Cruz Island.

The Coast Guard responded by both water and air, according toFox News.

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