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Coast Guard Continues Rescue Operations For Victims Of Excursion Boat Fire In Channel Islands

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(Ventura County Fire Department photo)
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An excursion boat with nearly 40 people on board was destroyed by fire in the Channel Islands early Monday morning

Efforts are continuing to try to account for more than 30 people on board an excursion boat which caught on fire, and sank in the Channel Islands.  As of 8 a.m., the Coast Guard reports 33 people are considered missing.

A distress call went out just before 4 a.m. Monday of a craft in distress near Santa Cruz Island.  Coast Guard officials say they heard the call, and immediately dispatched two helicopters, and a Coast Guard cutter.  Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties also deployed firefighting and rescue resources.

Some nearby boats were the first to reach the scene, and to start to rescue people.  A half dozen crew members were reported rescued, two two suffering minor leg injuries.  Firefighters found the boat fully involved in flames, and say it was a total loss. 

KCLU's John Palminteri is reporting the boat was the Conception, a popular Santa barBara based boat used for fishing and diving excursions.

At least one body has been recovered, and brought to Channel Islands Harbor.