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October 2021    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 36, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Coast Guard Sued by 34 Families

legal action from The Conception dive boat disaster victims

from the October, 2021 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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memorial for the Conception disaster victims
The permanent memorial at the Conception dive boat's home dock in Santa Barbara Harbor

Family members of the 34 people who died in the Conception dive boat fire off the Channel Islands in September 2019 are suing the U.S. Coast Guard, alleging it failed to enforce regulations and allowed the vessel to operate with substandard electrical and safety systems that led to the deaths.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has previously cited the failure by Conception Captain Jerry Boylan and the Conception's owner, Truth Aquatics, to comply with Coast Guard requirements to run a roving watch person whenever passengers were sleeping below deck, as well as other safety procedures. Boylan is facing 34 counts of seaman's manslaughter for his failure to have a required roving watch person who might have detected the fire sooner, possibly in time to save the 34 who were sleeping below decks. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial....

"Had the Coast Guard properly inspected the Conception, it never would have been certified."

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