Authorities Open Investigation into Deadly CA Boat Fire

Fears that Safety Regulations Unheeded

It comes as cold comfort to the families of 34 victims of this week’s crash off of the California coast that authorities opened an investigation into the tragedy.

Reuters reported that authorities recovered 33 of the 34 victims’ bodies so far. Unfortunately, the remains are severely charred by the blaze. The fire upon the Conception is among the worst in modern American history, and is now a source of federal investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board launched its own investigation into the matter. The 75 foot vessel lay upside down 65 feet below the surface near the California cost. NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a press conference that the circumstances of the tragedy is “horrific.”

Homendy also said that the agency’s investigation would be “very lengthy, detailed, and comprehensive.” She followed up by saying that it would take 10 days for the preliminary report on the fire’s release. The NTSB will research the final report for up to 18 months before its release.

Unfortunately, there were only three survivors of the crash, the captain and four crew members. 33 passengers and one crew member perished in the blaze which started at 3 am. First responders required DNA tests normally used in war zones to discover the victims’ identities, which ranged from 17 to 60. Among the dead include an entire family of five and a father and daughter.

Worldwide Diving Adventures chartered the vessel for the trip, which turned into a nightmare. Authorities still discover details about the sheer scope of the tragedy.

Concern over Use of Vessel

The LA Times reported that the time of day and source of the fire made it especially deadly. By the time the fire spread, it was too late to save most of the lives. It is certainly possible that the owners of the Conception did not follow state and federal regulations for seagoing vessels. Furthermore, it is more likely that the use of the ship with passengers was improperly organized, leading to the disaster.

For more info on the fire and investigation, keep reading our ongoing coverage.

  1. How to Sue Owners of the Conception Fire

Trying to Make Sense of a Tragedy

CBS updated the news on the fire. The more details authority release get worse and worse. Unfortunately, the victims were trapped once the fire started around 3am. Furthermore, 33 of the 34 bodies have been recovered so far. All passengers perished in the fire. So did one crew member. The company Truth Aquatics operated the Conception. The diving company Worldwide Diving Adventures chartered the vessel for the trip.

The USA Today reported that the disaster occurred 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The incident occurred near Santa Catalina Island. While the Coast Guard arrived on scene by 3:30 am, it was already too late to save most of the people onboard. While the Coast Guard was able to save the captain and several crew members, the rest perished. The ship sunk approximately four hours later, just 25 yards off the cost of Santa Cruz Island.

For victims’ families have a right to know what happened. There is a growing movement to investigate the cause and circumstances of the sinking and fire. The National Transportation Safety Board already launched an investigation, along with local officials. It is likely that the operator Truth Aquatics did not properly secure the vessel for carrying such a large number of passengers. This, along with the ship’s maintenance is a particular concern. If the ship was not properly cared for or fixed, the likelihood of severe fire increased dramatically.

Contacting a Legal Expert

For more info on both the crash and the legal response, contact the Ehline Law Firm APLC as soon as possible. Our lead attorney, Michael Ehline, is a maritime law expert based out of Los Angeles. He is a former cruise ship safety lobbyist in Washington DC who successfully represented hundreds of clients injured in transport accidents. There is a reason why he is among the most trusted attorneys in Southern California.

Let Ehline Law’s maritime law and ship accident experts take the case from here. We will travel anywhere in the state– or beyond– to speak to you. We listen, then lay out your legal options. And due to the way we operate our firm– client first– we don’t ask for a cent unless we recover money for your family. We also work with medical and technical experts on how to properly assess the impact of such a tragedy.

Together, we can overcome.

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