Memorial grows for victims of California boat fire, mayday call released

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A boat fire off Santa Cruz island in California has killed at least 25 people…nine others are still missing. Investigators are now trying to piece together how it all happened.

A mayday call during a Labor Day diving adventure gone horribly wrong. More than 30 people were trapped in the sleeping quarters below deck of the 75-foot “Conception” charter boat as it went up in flames off California’s Santa Cruz island around 3 a.m. Monday.

Bob and Shirley Hansen were nearby and picked up five crew members who were able to jump overboard.

“As soon as I came out I saw the man with the broken leg lying in the bottom of the dingy with water,” said Shirley Hansen.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said “you couldn’t ask for a the worse situation.”

“Thirty nine souls were reported to be on that vessel when it left Santa Barbara. Five victims were subsequently rescued,” said.

On shore, a growing memorial shows the support from the community.

Authorities say the conception’s operating company has an excellent safety record. it’s not clear what caused the fire.

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