Crew members of the Southern California dive boat that caught on fire and resulted in 34 deaths said they were not up to speed on emergency procedures when a fire broke out on the boat in 2019.
Thirty-three passengers were on the boat during a Labor Day weekend scuba diving expedition in 2019 when a fire broke out and spread while passengers were sleeping. All the passengers and one crew member who were asleep below the deck were killed. Five other crew members barely escaped after unsuccessfully trying to save others.
Investigators said the cause of the fire is still unknown, but plugged-in phones and other electronics might have been a possible ignition point, according to CBS News.
Documents released on Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board provided more information regarding the boat’s final hours and will likely prompt criminal charges to be placed against crew members.
Capt. Jerry Boylan is at risk of facing federal manslaughter counts after reportedly working aboard the boat for three weeks and putting off discussing emergency plans the day before the fire broke out.
One crew member, Ryan Sims, said he didn’t know what the procedures were at the time and recalled seeing sparks fly when he plugged his cellphone into an outlet.
“I didn’t know what the procedures were supposed to be,” Sims told investigators, according to CBS.
Sims said he went to sleep after seeing the sparks from the fire, but there’s nothing in the documents that says he reported it.
Other crew members also reported not knowing what to do in the case of an emergency.
Another telling sign of imminent charges was that all six crew members were asleep when the fire broke out, which violates Coast Guard regulations that require a roving watch, CBS reported, citing the NTSB.
Tags: News, California, Coast Guard, death, Sea Travel, Court
Original Author: Mica Soellner
Original Location: Crew members aboard dive boat that caught fire and left 34 dead say they didn’t know emergency procedures