Today, we’re starting with an update on the horrific fire that engulfed a scuba diving boat near Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands early on Monday, most likely killing dozens of people.
The search-and-recovery effort continued through Labor Day, transforming a picturesque divers’ paradise — an area that The Ventura County Star described as “the Galápagos of North America” — into the site of one of California’s worst maritime disasters.
Here’s what we know so far:
In the predawn hours on Monday, a haunting distress call was apparently made from a commercial scuba diving vessel named the Conception.
Bob and Shirley Hansen, the owners of a fishing boat that was moored overnight several hundred feet from the Conception, said they saw fire shooting through holes in the vessel and explosions “every few beats.”