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Santa Barbara County declares local emergency in response to Conception Dive Boat Fire

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Posted at 8:38 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 23:38:49-04

Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency Thursday in response to the Conception dive boat incident.

County leaders say this emergency declaration will provide them with essential resources for emergency response and supporting activity.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Monday, September 2, the U.S. Coast Guard and partnering agencies responded to a vessel fire off the north shore of Santa Cruz Island.

When emergency crews arrived they found the "Conception," a 75-foot commercial diving boat based out of the Santa Barbara Harbor, fully engulfed in fire. Officials say the boat sank to the ocean floor at approximately 7:20 a.m.

Proclaiming a local emergency will ensure all county resources are available for emergency response

The "Conception" dive boat had 39 passengers aboard, including the crew.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department, there have been 33 confirmed deaths, and the underwater search for one person is still underway.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner has requested specialized personnel and equipment from outside of the Santa Barbara County Operational Area to assist with the recovery, and timely identification of these individuals.