The U.S. Coast Guard saysÂ all 33Â passengers and one crew memberÂ are assumed deadÂ after a tragic boat fire early Monday that occurred in open water off California.Â The commercial diving vessel sank offÂ Santa Barbara, California, hours before it was due to returnÂ from a three-day dive trip through California’s Channel Islands.
Of the 39 people aboard, five crew members were sleeping on the top deck ofÂ the ConceptionÂ when the fire broke out and jumped overboard; theyÂ were rescued by a private boatÂ near Santa Cruz Island.
Authorities reported in a press conference Tuesday that the remains of 20 victims had been recovered, including 11 women and 9 men. Fourteen victims remain missing.
The boat sank inÂ 65-foot waters, less than 25 yards off the coast of Santa Cruz.
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