The Latest: Wreckage from fatal boat fire taken to navy base
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a fatal boat fire off the coast of Southern California that killed 34 people (all times local): 9:45 a.m. The burned-out wreckage of a boat where 34 people died in a fire has been transported to a naval base in Southern California for further investigation.
Ship-tracking website marinetraffic.com shows the barge that transported the Conception in Port Hueneme, a naval base more than 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. The Coast Guard would not confirm the location and authorities have only said the vessel would be taken to a secure area as multiple agencies investigate the deadly fire's cause. A criminal investigation is also looking whether the captain or crew were negligent in the deaths of the others.
Five of six crewmembers survived the Sept. 2 fire, while 33 passengers and a deckhand died of smoke inhalation as they were trapped below deck.
Federal investigators identified a violation of Coast Guard regulations that could trigger criminal charges in the California dive boat disaster that killed 34 people.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that all crew members on the boat Conception were asleep when the pre-dawn fire broke out Sept. 2 off the coast of Santa Barbara.
The boat was required to have a crew member on roving patrol while passengers slept, according to Coast Guard rules and the boat's inspection certificate.
Experts say not having a lookout could be enough to bring criminal charges under the obscure so-called seaman's manslaughter statute.
The 19th century law carries penalties up to 10 years in prison if a captain or crew were negligent or committed misconduct or neglected their duties.