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Salvage Operations Underway On Ship Which Was Center Of Disaster In Channel Islands

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)
Divers work on salvage operation for Conception, the dive boat which caught on fire and sank in the Channel Islands on Labor Day, killing 34 people

Salvage operations are now underway on the wreckage of the dive boat which caught on fire and sank in the Channel Islands this week, killing 34 people. Efforts have started to raise the wreckage of the 75 foot long Conception, which sank Monday off of Santa Cruz Island.

The owner of the Conception hired Global Diving and Salvage for the salvage project. Operations got underway Thursday. The Coast Guard will oversee the salvage effort. Once the boat is out of the water, it will be moved to a barge and escorted by law enforcement to a secure location.

Meanwhile, divers aided by remote operating vehicles are continuing the search for the remains of the last person who died in in the fire. 33 bodies have been recovered, and efforts are underway to find the 34th.

As a result of the disaster, Santa Barbara County has declared a state of local emergency, which will make more resources available for recovery efforts. A community memorial service is set to take place Friday night. It will happen at 6:30, at Santa Barbara’s Chase Palm Park.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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