Coast Guard, local agencies continue response to boat fire near Santa Cruz Island

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Coast Guard and partner agencies continue their response to a vessel fire that led to the diving vessel Conception sinking near Santa Cruz Island Monday morning.

A family assistance number has been established at (833) 688-5551 or (800) 400-1572.

A 3,000-foot temporary flight restriction has been established around the Conception.


Thirty-nine people were reported aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Five people were rescued from the water during the initial response to the incident. Several deceased victims have also been recovered from the scene.

The Coast Guard is actively searching for additional people. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office will release information regarding victims as it becomes available.

The vessel Conception sank around 7:20 a.m.

The cause of the incident is under investigation and names are being withheld pending next of kin notifications.

A Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, a Coast Guard Forward Operating Base Point Mugu MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are on scene.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to continue their search efforts through out the night.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call via channel 16 of an engulfed 75-foot commercial diving vessel with 39 people aboard.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded. The fire department crews were fighting the fire when the vessel sank 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water.

Five people were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft.

Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews, a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu Dolphin MH-65 helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Air Station San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal.

The vessel is reported to have a one-foot portion of the bow sticking out of the water.

Editor’s Note: It was previously reported that there were 33 people unaccounted for. That number has been corrected to 34. Additionally, the good Samaritan vessel’s name has been corrected to Grape Escape.


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