34 missing after diving boat catches fire near California coast, officials say

Officials in Southern California say that 34 people are unaccounted for after a diving boat caught fire near the state’s coastline in the early hours of Monday morning.

The fire began on a boat located near Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands, a national park about 20 miles off the coast near the city of Oxnard, around 3:30 a.m., the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard officials said they believe there were 39 people aboard the vessel at a news conference Monday. The five people who were rescued were all crew members, officials said, two of whom were injured. Capt. Monica L. Rochester told reporters that the crew was awake and on the ship’s bridge when the fire broke out, saying they had jumped off the boat.

The boat was docked in Platt’s Harbor, about 20 yards away from the shore, Rochester said. The passengers on the ship were below deck and likely asleep, Rochester said.

Article URL : https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/09/02/missing-after-boat-fire-near-national-park-california-coast/

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