The Conception boat fire was a tragic event that many Californians will never forget. The fire, which happened in 2019, claimed 34 victims. Now, families of the victims have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the Coast Guard and the owners of the boat. The families claim that the boat was not safe for use due to fire hazards and other safety concerns.
The Conception was a dive boat owned by Truth Aquatics. It caught fire off Santa Cruz Island likely due to some electrical malfunctions. The fire killed 33 passengers and one crew member. This accident was the worst maritime disaster the state of California has seen since the 19th century. Federal inspectors blame the owners’ lack of a roving patrol that could have warned passengers and possibly prevented the deaths.
This horrific accident cost many lives and families of the victims believe it could have been prevented. The Coast Guard certified the boat in a 2019 inspection even though some alterations had been made to the electrical systems that may have made them unsafe. In 2018, the Conception’s sister ship, the Vision, had a close call with fire, also due to electrical problems related to charging lithium batteries. The addition of electrical outlets for charging small devices may have also led to the fire on the Conception.
Pursuing a wrongful death case
Surviving family members of the victims of tragic accidents such as this can understandably be devastated at the loss of their loved ones. Those feelings can turn to anger and can lead to questions about the tragedy and the desire for answers. Family members may have the option to seek monetary damages in the form of a wrongful death suit against those responsible for the accident. California residents who have lost a loved one in tragic circumstances can seek legal advice to better understand the civil lawsuit process.