Search warrants served on Santa Barbara diving boat company

Local News Search warrants served in California boat fire investigation Associated Press 10:07 AM, Sep

Local News Search warrants served in California boat fire investigation Associated Press 10:07 AM, Sep

US federal agencies on Sunday served search warrants as part of the investigation into the Conception boat fire, which killed 34 people off the Southern California coast early Monday morning.

Agents with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies searched Truth Aquatics' offices in Santa Barbara and the company's two remaining boats, county sheriff Erik Raney said on Sunday. Only five crew members survived the blaze.

The 34 victims, including passengers and one crew member, were sleeping below deck.

The Labor Day disaster may well spark changes in regulations of commercial dive boats and related vessels, said retired US Coast Guard Capt. Kyle McAvoy, a marine safety expert with Robson Forensic who specializes in marine incident investigations.

The warrants served shortly after 9am are "a pretty standard" part of the ongoing investigation into the tragedy to determine whether any crimes were committed, he said. She said officials had already interviewed the owner-operator of the dive boat, but didn't offer any further details. The search for the final victim was suspended until later this week because of strong winds and rough seas.

"The dive teams are going to occasion Monday to invent a conception. We're hoping they're aid within the water on Tuesday", he stated Sunday.

Coast Guard records show the Conception passed it's most recent inspections with zero safety violations.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. They'll moreover explore into how the crew became professional and what crewmembers were doing on the time of the fireplace.

The escape hatch in the lower bunk level on the Vision- the similar boat - was small, hard to see, access and maneuver, she said. The crew, including the captain, talked about they were driven abet by flames, smoke and warmth.

They jumped from the bridge blueprint to the major deck - one breaking a leg in the difficulty - and tried to gather thru the double doorways of the galley, which were on fireplace. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has said the two exits, a stairway to the galley and an escape hatch, may have both been blocked by fire, and that the victims likely died from smoke inhalation. The crew then tried, however failed, to net into windows on the front of the vessel.

The firm stated in an announcement posted Friday on Instagram that the lawsuit is an "unlucky aspect of these tragedies" and pinned the action on insurance corporations and other so-called stakeholders.