NewsLocal News


Report: Deadly Conception boat fire started in trash can

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 04, 2023

The fire that killed 34 people onboard a dive boat off the coast of Santa Cruz Island on Labor Day 2019 started in a plastic trash can on the main deck, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reviewed a confidential report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that found that the Conception boat fire spread quickly after starting in the garbage bin. However, the investigation reportedly did not determine the exact cause of the fire.

It had previously been speculated that a lithium battery or charging cell phones and cameras in the lower deck may have caused the fire.

Thirty-three passengers and one crew member who were sleeping below deck were unable to escape the flames and died in the fire. Five other crew members were able to escape.

The boat's captain, Jerry Boylan, faces a federal charge of misconduct or neglect of a ship officer.