Santa Barbara County Officials: Death Toll Rising From Channel Islands Boat Fire

Sep 3, 2019

Santa Barbara County officials say more bodies have been recovered in the wake of an excursion boat fire in the Channel Islands, but they won't update the numbers until a 10 a.m. Tuesday news conference.

The official toll from the early Monday morning fire near Santa Cruz Island still stands at 8 dead, and 26 people missing.

A total of 39 people were onboard the Santa Barbara based boat, the Conception, for a Labor Day weekend diving trip.  Five crew members are the only known survivors at this point.

The fire was reported at about 3:30 Monday morning, as the boat was anchored less than 100 feet from Santa Cruz Island.  The crew sent out an emergency call for help, but by the time the Coast Guard and local first responders reached the scene, the boat was engulfed in flames.