NTSB Opens Investigation Docket Into Fatal Conception Dive Boat Fire

Mike Schuler
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September 17, 2020

The commercial dive boat Conception at sunrise prior to sinking, September 2, 2019. Photo: Ventura County Fire Department

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has opened the public docket as part of its ongoing investigation of the fatal fire aboard the dive boat Conception off Santa Cruz Island, California last year.

The 75-foot commercial diving vessel, with 33 passengers and 6 crew members, caught fire just after 3 a.m. local time on September 2 as it was anchored in Platts Harbor off Santa Cruz Island. All 33 passengers and one crew member perished as they slept in the vessel’s bunkroom.

The Captain and four additional crew, who were awakened by the fire as they slept in and behind the wheelhouse, survived the accident.

The docket includes more than 100 factual reports and documents, including interview transcripts, photographs, and other investigative materials.

The docket does not include any analysis, findings, recommendations or a probable cause determination, which will be released at the end of the public board meeting scheduled for October 20, 2020.

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