Burning boat takes clues of fatal fire down to watery grave
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials say they will find what sparked the inferno aboard the dive boat Conception that killed 34 people in waters off Southern California but vital evidence may have gone down with the ship or drifted out to sea.
The charred remains of the boat now rest on the sea floor in 60 feet (18 meters) of water and other items that could provide valuable clues could have been destroyed in the fire or carried away by the tides.
Experts say investigators will chart the ship’s final voyage from the moment it pulled from a Santa Barbara dock early Saturday morning until dispatchers received the frantic mayday call of the breathless captain overwhelmed by smoke early Monday.
They will review the ship’s layout, maintenance records and even photos from former passengers.
Associated Press Writer Stefanie Dazio in Santa Barbara contributed to this report.