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Carbajal, agency leaders meet to discuss maritime safety

carbajal maritime meeting.jpg
Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 21, 2022

More than two years after the Conception dive boat caught fire off the coast of Santa Barbara, state and federal leaders are still discussing ways to improve safety protocols when it comes to commercial boat use.

Rep. Salud Carbajal met with leaders from the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board in Santa Barbara on Monday.

Following the deadly boat fire in 2019, Rep. Carbajal introduced a bill to strengthen maritime safety standards.

The Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act requires small passenger vessels, like the Conception, to have a minimum number of escape routes, it mandates safety standards for the handling and storage of devices with lithium ion batteries, and increases standards for interconnected fire alarm systems.

"We are finally implementing important recommendations that will improve safety for the public, to continue to enhance safety when they step aboard these vessels," Carbajal said.

Thirty-four people were killed when the Conception caught fire and sank off the coast of Santa Cruz Island in September 2019.

It was one of California's deadliest maritime disasters.