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California boat owners faulted for fire that killed 34

California boat owners faulted for fire that killed 34
Posted at 6:48 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 18:48:44-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the deadliest accidents in recent U.S. maritime history was the fault of the owners of a dive boat whose lack of oversight resulted in a fire that swept through the vessel and killed all 34 people in their bunks below deck.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Tuesday the Conception's captain failed to post a roving night watchman aboard the Southern California scuba dive vessel, which allowed the fire to quickly spread and trap the 33 passengers and one crew member.

The NTSB also faulted the Coast Guard's inadequate regulations.

Attorneys for the boat's owner and the captain did not immediately respond to requests for comment.