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Crew Member From Deadly Boat Fire In Channel Islands Sues Boat's Owner; Claims Craft Was Unseaworthy

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(Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
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The Conception on fire off of Santa Cruz Island September 2nd. 34 people died in the blaze.

A crew member from the deadly excursion boat fire in the Channel Islands has filed a lawsuit against the boat’s owner, claiming it was unseaworthy. Ryan Sims had only worked on board the Conception for a few weeks when the deadly September 2nd fire occurred. He fractured his leg and suffered other injuries trying to escape the flames.

34 people died in the inferno.

The ten page Ventura County Superior Court lawsuit claims the boat wasn’t properly maintained, that there wasn’t adequate safety equipment, and that the crew didn’t have necessary training.

The Coast Guard has said the Conception passed it most recent safety inspection without problems.

The wreckage of the boat was raised by a salvage crew. It’s now at Naval Base Ventura County where federal investigators are inspecting it, trying to find the source of the fire. The company which owned the ship has invoked old maritime law and filed preemptive legal action to try to limit its liability.