A plaque with the names of those who died when a dive boat caught fire one year ago off the Southern California coast was unveiled Wednesday morning.
The permanent memorial at the Conception dive boat’s home dock in Santa Barbara Harbor features the names of the 34 people killed when the 75-foot commercial diving vessel caught fire Sept. 2, 2019.
Conception was anchored in Platts Harbor off Santa Cruz Island when it caught fire in the early morning hours, killing one crew member and all 33 passengers.
Only five people, all crew members, were able to escape the inferno.
On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it will hold an Oct. 20 meeting to discuss the agency’s investigation into the deadly fire. The NTSB’s five-member board will vote on the agency’s findings, probable cause and recommendations, as well as any changes to the draft final report.
Lawsuits filed by victims’ families allege that the 41-year-old Conception was in blatant violation of numerous Coast Guard regulations, including failing to maintain an overnight “roving” safety watch and failure to provide a safe means for storing and charging lithium-ion batteries, and that the below-decks passenger accommodations lacked emergency exits.