Dozens Killed in Boat Fire off Santa Cruz Island

Pictured: Potato Harbor, a Santa Cruz Island cove near where the fire started.

In one of the worst maritime disasters in California history, the 75-foot commercial scuba diving vessel Conception caught fire early Monday morning, appearing to claim the lives of dozens of passengers. A total of 39 people were onboard the Conception at the time of the incident—6 crew members and 33 passengers—with 5 crew members the only known survivors.

Santa Barbara County officials did not expect to find additional survivors—as of late Monday night, 20 bodies had been recovered by Coast Guard crews.

Conception, which had embarked Saturday on a three-day dive excursion off the Ventura County coast, was anchored on the north side of Santa Cruz Island when the blaze began Monday morning. Shortly after sunrise and just a few hours later, the vessel lay 60 feet below the surface, charred and inverted on the seafloor. Officials, however, stressed that it was too early to determine if negligence had contributed to the blaze.

Truth Aquatics, the owner and operator of the Conception, is well-regarded within the diving community, and the boat was in full compliance following its most recent annual inspection by the Coast Guard. According to the Truth Aquatics website, the ship featured a built-in barbecue, although it remained unclear if this played a role in the incident.

Posted in: Blog, Boat Accident, Fatal Accident, News, Oxnard, Personal Injury, Ventura

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Who We Are

Wilshire Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury, employment, aviation, and class action law firm that has been serving clients for nearly 15 years. Our team of more than 200 professionals is ready to serve you!

Our Attorneys

Our experienced lawyers have received numerous prestigious awards and accolades for their legal excellence and dedicated client service. We even have attorneys who are named among the top 1% of lawyers nationwide.

Proven Results

Our law firm has helped thousands of clients, recovering more than $900 million in verdicts and settlements on their behalf. We have a reputation for winning even the most difficult and complex cases!