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No escape from dive boat inferno: The bunk beds where 34 died after being trapped below deck by fire as captain frantically told rescuers 'they can't get out' and 'there's no escape hatch'

At least 8 people confirmed dead while 26 are still missing and feared dead after a dive boat burst into flames Social media users have previously shared footage of the sleeping quarters on the boat. The trip was made in 2014

  • At least 25 people aboard the vessel Conception have been confirmed dead after Monday's tragic boat fire 
  • Nine others are missing as search and rescue efforts were transitioned into a recovery mission on Tuesday 
  • Among those feared dead are crew cook Micheal 'Mikey' Kohls and expedition leader Kristy Finstad
  • Conception was on a three-day diving trip when it caught fire in the middle of the night near Santa Cruz Island
  • 30 passengers sleeping in tight quarters below deck are feared to have been trapped by the blaze 
  • Five crew members, who had separate sleeping quarters, escaped the inferno and took a dinghy to safety
    This is the space where people slept on the ill-fated three-day diving expedition aboard Conception where at least 25 have died and more are feared dead

An idyllic three-day diving expedition off the coast of Southern California ended in unimaginable tragedy when the vessel Conception caught fire, killing at least 25 people.  

Nine others are still missing and feared dead after the dive boat, which was anchored off of Santa Cruz Island overnight Monday, became fully engulfed in flames as 30 passengers on a recreational scuba diving trip slept in tight quarters below deck.

At least five crew members, who had separate sleeping quarters, survived.

The search and rescue effort continued for over 24 hours before being transitioned into a recovery mission on Tuesday morning.  The dive-boat Conception, far out to sea in the middle of the night, became fully engulfed in flames as 30 passengers on a recreational scuba diving trip slept below deck. At least five crew members, who had separate sleeping quarters, survived

Emergency crews with multiple law enforcement agencies worked for hours to extinguish the flames engulfing the Conception
The vessel eventually sank almost entirely below the water about 20 yards from shore
Kristy Finstad was the leader of the expedition
Michael Kohls was a cook on the boat
Footage taken from a previous experience on the the boat shows the tight living quarters
The compact living quarters (pictured, a previous trip aboard the ship in 2014) where the passengers slept


Dozens of people are feared to have died after a 75-foot dive boat burst into flames off the coast of California early Monday. Officials say five people have been rescued, four bodies recovered and 29 are currently missing

  • At least four people are dead and 29 are missing after 75ft dive boat catches fire off Southern California coast 
  • Lt Cmdr Matthew Kroll said the bodies recovered on Monday morning had injuries consistent with drowning
  • Rescue crews are searching for 29 people still missing after the fire overnight on the vessel Conception 
  • The boat was anchored 20 yards off Platts Harbor on the north side of Santa Cruz Island 
  • Fire broke out and USGS Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received a mayday call just before 3.30am
  • In chilling audio the person who made the call can be heard telling a dispatcher: 'I can't breathe' 
  • Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded to the scene, along with multiple personal watercraft in the area
  • Five crew members who were awake and on deck when the fire broke out jumped into the water
  • They were rescued by a Good Samaritan boat called the Grape Escape 
  • The Conception sank as crews worked to extinguish the flames but the bow is still above water
  • Search and rescue efforts are ongoing as officials are hopeful that someone may have swam to shore   
  • The boat was based at Santa Barbara Harbor and operated by tour company Truth Aquatics
  • The owners are working with investigators and have declined to comment on the tragedy
  • Santa Barbara City Search and Rescue officers move a recovered body on the dock at Santa Barbara Harbor on Monday

Audio from emergency dispatchers indicates that the passengers aboard a doomed 75-foot dive boat which caught fire off the coast of Southern California may have been locked in and unable to escape.

In a chilling recording of the mayday call, the captain of the Conception can be heard telling a Coast Guard dispatcher that all of his passengers are trapped below deck 'with no escape hatch'. 

'There's 33 people on board the vessel on fire. They can't get off,' the captain says.  

The dispatcher responds: 'Roger. Are they locked inside the boat? Roger. Can you get back on board and unlock the doors so they can get off? Roger. You don't have any firefighter gear at all, no fire extinguishers or anything?'

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Comment by Will on September 4, 2019 at 10:19pm

S***. RIP.

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