34 people are missing Monday morning after a scuba expedition caught fire near Santa Cruz Island, California; with officials saying just five people have been rescued from the inferno.
“Fox affiliate KTTV earlier confirmed there were nearly three dozen fatalities, but Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr Matthew Kroll told Fox News the 34 people were unaccounted for from a commercial diving ship. The captain of the boat was helping with the rescue. Four other people were rescued. Lt. Cmdr Kroll later confirmed the ship sunk near the north shore of Santa Cruz Island after taking on water,” reports Fox News.
“The Associated Press quoted Kroll as saying that those who had not been accounted for were sleeping below deck and those who had been rescued were crewmembers sleeping on top of the deck,” adds Fox.
“The Coast Guard has launched multiple rescue assets along with assets from local agencies to assist more than 30 people in distress on a 75ft boat near Santa Cruz Island,” Coast Guard LA said in a tweet shortly before 5 a.m. local time.
#CoastInc: @VCFD responded to boat fire off the north side of Santa Cruz Island at approximately 3:28am. @USCG helping support rescue operations for people aboard a dive boat. #ChannelIslands @USCGLosAngeles @CountyVentura @SBCOUNTYFIRE pic.twitter.com/DwoPGfBjtA
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) September 2, 2019
Update: The dive boat, named Conception, caught fire while anchored off Santa Cruz Island early Monday, per Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. 5 people have been rescued and 34 remained missing, agency says https://t.co/IEgvYnPTZP pic.twitter.com/b0SzQqWbme
— KTLA (@KTLA) September 2, 2019
What we know the boat fire off Santa Cruz Island:
– 5 rescued, 34 missing
– Fire reported shortly before 3:30 a.m.
– Boak sank and is in 65 feet of water
– Part of a 3-day Labor Day weekend diving trip https://t.co/umrj74b4B5
— LAist (@LAist) September 2, 2019
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.