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Preliminary Investigation Into Deadly Boat Fire Near Santa Cruz Island Coast Suggests Serious Safety Lapses, Sources Say

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team and other officials work in front of the ship Truth, a sister ship of the diving ship Conception in Santa Barbara on Sept. 3, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team and other officials work in front of the ship Truth, a sister ship of the diving ship Conception in Santa Barbara on Sept. 3, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A preliminary investigation into the Conception boat fire has suggested serious safety deficiencies aboard the vessel, including the lack of a “roaming nightwatchman” who is required to be awake and alert passengers in the event of a fire or other dangers, according to several law enforcement sources familiar with the inquiry.

The probe also has raised questions about whether the crew was adequately trained and whether passengers received a complete safety briefing, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not have approval to comment publicly about the case.

Investigators have so far interviewed surviving crew members and others connected to the worst maritime disaster in recent California history, which killed 34 people.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman declined to comment, other than to describe the investigation as wide-ranging.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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