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Authorities recover the bodies of 33 people who died in the California dive-boat fire, 1 person still missing

Key Points
  • The Santa Barbara Sheriff Lt. Brian Olmstead confirmed on Wednesday that the bodies of 33 people who died in the California dive-boat fire have been recovered, but one is still missing. 
  • The dive-boat Conception engulfed in flames at about 3 a.m. on Monday as 30 passengers were sleeping below deck.
  • Investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire.
In this handout provided by Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the 75-foot Conception, based in Santa Barbara Harbor, burns after catching fire early September 2, 2019 anchored off Santa Cruz Island, California.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department | Getty Images

The bodies of 33 people who died in the California dive-boat fire have been recovered, the Santa Barbara Sheriff Lt. Brian Olmstead confirmed on Wednesday, but one is still missing.

The dive-boat Conception was engulfed in flames at about 3 a.m. on Monday as 30 passengers were sleeping below deck. There were 39 passengers and crew on board for a Labor Day weekend scuba-diving trip. Investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire.

The Conception departed Santa Barbara's Channel Islands Harbor on Saturday and it was anchored in Platt's Harbor off Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles when the fire broke out.

The 75-foot dive-boat was on a three-day long excursion to the Channel Islands National Park in the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles.

The Conception was owned by Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics, founded in 1974. A memorial outside of Truth Aquatics in the Santa Barbara Harbor grew Monday night with mourners coming to pay their respects.

VIDEO1:1701:17
California boat fire leaves at least 25 dead

A family of five along with high schoolers, an adventurous marine biologist and a science teacher are among those believed lost in the fiery sinking of the scuba boat.

Apple says an engineer, his wife, daughter and another Apple employee were on board the scuba diving boat consumed by fire off the coast of Southern California on Labor Day.

Deirdre O'Brien, a senior vice president at Apple, said Wednesday in a statement that Steve Salika, his wife, Diana Adamic, daughter, Tia Salika, and Apple colleague Dan Garcia went on the trip.

O'Brien told the Mercury News that they were celebrating Tia's 17th birthday.

Steve Salika worked at Apple for 30 years.

Officials have said the captain and four other crew members who survived jumped off the front of the vessel, swam to an inflatable boat at its stern and steered it to a ship anchored nearby.

But flames moved so quickly through the 75-foot vessel that it blocked a narrow stairway and an escape hatch leading to the upper decks, giving those below virtually no chance of escaping, authorities said.

Authorities ended the search for any other survivors on Tuesday.

DNA will be needed to identify all the victims. Authorities will use the same rapid analysis tool that identified victims of the deadly wildfire that devastated the Northern California town of Paradise last year, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.