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Bill would change maritime liability rules after boat fire

Posted at 3:48 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 18:48:16-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation Wednesday that would change 19th-century maritime liability rules in response to the 2019 boat fire off the coast of Santa Cruz Island that killed 34 people.

The bill introduced Wednesday would update the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, under which boat owners can limit their liability to the value of the remains of the vessel.

In the case of the Conception, the scuba diving boat where an inferno trapped 33 passengers and one crew member in the bunkroom below deck, the boat was a total loss.

The legislation would be retroactively applied to the families of Conception victims.