8 killed many missing in boat tragedy in California

On Monday, eight passengers died of drowning following a fire in the scuba diving boat ‘Conception’ off the California coast of the US, while 26 people are missing and are feared dead.

Before sunrise, fire brigade personnel on board the helicopter, Coast Guard boats tried to rescue people aboard the 23-meter-long ferry but the fire was so severe that rescue workers could not evacuate the passengers before the boat sank.

Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County told a news conference that rescue operations were also difficult because of the haze that prevailed over the area. He said that four bodies have been recovered.

Rescue operations and search for victims continue, Brown said. Four bodies were seen floating on the water near the boat where it was submerged. 26 people are still missing.

Coast Guard Captain Monica Roster said that when the boat caught fire at three o’clock in the wee hours of local time, five crew members were awake and jumped into the water, who were saved by a nearby boat. A total of 39 people were aboard the boat.


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