It was a tragedy of no mean proportions when fire engulfed the Conception, a commercial scuba diving boat. The time was around 3.15am when Los Angeles Coast Guard responded to a mayday call. It mentioned about a vessel that was on fire. There were 33 passengers and other crew members on board and they were sleeping. The authorities have confirmed the death of 25 of them while others are still untraceable. The boat was docked near Santa Cruz Island and efforts are being made to establish the identities of the passengers who had come from different places.

An official of the Coast Guard said, “the first bodies recovered had signs consistent with drowning.”

The Guardian says the authorities recovered 20 bodies, and another five were visible inside the boat but it was difficult to reach them because of access problems. It would be necessary to have DNA tests to identify the bodies recovered. The passengers included many who had come from places outside California and identifying them could be a major time-consuming exercise.

There was very little reaction time

Firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control, but the Scuba Diving boat sank some distance from the shore and was in deep water.

It was a trip that went all wrong and the authorities will establish the reason for the fire but lives have been lost. The name of the boat was Conception belonging to a company that offers boat rental service and diving tours in the region.

The Guardian provides more information on the tour, which was a three-day affair covering a number of islands.

One of these was Santa Cruz Island. Scuba enthusiasts began the journey from Santa Barbara Harbor and were supposed to return there. However, that did not happen and the pleasure trip ended with the death of passengers in the fire. The boat Conception was of 1981 vintage and was considered to be the crown jewel of California.

Its loss will hurt the company and those who have traveled on it in the past will recall the good times.

It was a Labor Day excursion

According to CNN, passengers in the commercial diving boat named the Conception met a tragic end when the boat caught fire early in the morning at around 3.15am. The Labor Day trip turned out to be a major tragedy. When people Travel out of their homes, they face new situations but this incident of fire was something none expected. They probably did not have adequate reaction time. Firefighters extinguished the flames but the rescue teams found many dead bodies. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the incident occurred off the coast of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California.

The boat was docked some 20 miles off the mainland coast, near the island. The Coast Guard said authorities are checking out the shorelines for survivors. Firefighters had to struggle to put out the blaze and the boat sank in 64 feet of water.