SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) – Five people from one Northern California family are missing and presumed dead after a fire swept through the scuba diving boat they were on near a Southern California island, a relative says.
Susana Rosas posted on social media that her three daughters, their father and stepmother were on board the Conception when it caught fire before dawn Monday morning. The father was from Stockton and traveling with four family members.
He has been identified as Michael Quitasol.
Thirty-four people are presumed dead in the blaze and the search for survivors has been suspended.
Five of the boat’s six crew members escaped.
The Conception was on the final day of a Labor Day weekend cruise when the fire erupted and a mayday call was made
Coast Guard records show inspections of the Conception conducted last February and in August 2018 found no deficiencies. Earlier inspections found some safety violations related to fire safety.
A 2016 inspection resulted in owners replacing the heat detector in the galley and one in 2014 cited a leaky fire hose.
Records show all safety violations from the last five years were quickly addressed by the boat’s owners.