Dozens killed in dive boat fire came from all walks of life
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The dozens of people who perished as flames engulfed and sank a dive boat off Southern California included high schoolers, a hairdresser, a marine biologist, a movie special effects designer and a family of five.
But a common love of scuba diving brought them to the Channel Islands for a Labor Day holiday.
Authorities say 34 people were likely trapped below decks of the Conception Monday. Divers have recovered all but one body.
Five crew members, including the captain, managed to escape.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. The NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy says the captain, boat owner and others have been interviewed. She says survivors received drug tests and four got alcohol tests that were negative.
The Coast Guard says the boat wasn’t required to have fire sprinklers.
Watson reported from San Diego. Associated Press writers John Antczak and John Rogers in Los Angeles and Janie Har in San Francisco, Amy Taxin in Santa Ana, California, and researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this story.