FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – The NTSB releases its initial report Thursday on the Conception dive boat fire.
The National Transportation Safety Board report said that all the crew members were asleep when the vessel caught fire on Labor Day off Santa Cruz Island.
The report describes the events when the fire broke out September 2, 2019.
All of the crew members were asleep at the time.
One crew member woke up because he heard a noise, and then saw a fire at the aft end of the sun deck.
He alerted the other crew members, while the captain said that he radioed a distress message to the Coast Guard.
Crew members said they tried to get to the passengers who were sleeping below deck but were blocked by fire.
All the victims apparently died of smoke inhalation as they were trapped below the raging fire.
The two-page report does not give insight into what may have caused the 75-foot diving vessel to go up in flames.
Investigators are working to recover the Conception amid an ongoing criminal probe conducted by the FBI, Coast Guard and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Divers have recovered the remains of all 34 victims – 21 women and 13 men ranging from 16 to 62 years old.
Click to hear the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: