In total, 39 people were on board at the time of the tragedy, six crew members and 33 passengers.
Rescue has recovered 20 bodies after the violent fire Monday morning of a scuba diving boat off the coast of California, police said Tuesday, September 3, stating that the search for survivors was interrupted.
“In total, 20 victims were found and transported to the premises of the medical examiner,” Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County told reporters. There are eleven women and nine men. DNA analysis will begin Tuesday to identify them, he added. “Four to six” other bodies remain prisoners of the wreckage but, given the positioning of the ship, the divers could not recover them, he said.
- Interrupted survivor searches
In total, 39 people were on board at the time of the tragedy, six crew members and 33 passengers. Five crew members, who were awake when the fire broke out, were able to jump overboard and were picked up by a nearby pleasure boat. The remaining 34, who slept under the bridge, were probably trapped by the flames.
Searches for potential survivors have been halted as eight to ten passengers remain missing, said Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester. “It’s never an easy decision to suspend these efforts,” but seven overflight missions by three helicopters covered 260 kilometers without spotting distress signals or new debris, she said. Ships deployed as reinforcements have not been more successful.