We are all horrified by the recent tragedy at sea. 34 people have lost their lives in a fire raising questions of wrongful death on the Conception a California dive boat. The “Conception” was based in Santa Barbara’s Channel Islands harbor, and had left on Saturday for a Labor Day weekend scuba-diving trip. The Conception was fully engulfed in flames when the Coast Guard received a distress call. 33 passengers were sleeping below decks when the fire broke out. There were 6 crew on the Conception, 5 of whom survived the fire.
This horrific tragedy will undoubtedly raise serious legal questions regarding liability for the fire and the wrongful deaths of those who lost their lives. In California, when a person loses their life due to the negligence of another party it is known as a “wrongful death.” While the cause of the fire is under investigation no one knows why so many were unable to exit the stricken vessel.
My name is Rivers Morrell and after more than 40 years of experience as a personal injury attorney here in Southern California I can tell you this shocking loss must result in several wrongful death lawsuits. The 33 people who paid for a holiday weekend scuba trip would expect a commercial vessel like the Conception to have adequate fire safety measures as well as several points of exit. While it will be some time before we know how the fire started and why so many of the ship’s occupants were unable to escape the fire, we do know it should never have happened and the sheer devastation in terms of human life testifies to the legal issues at hand.
Today, we are all shocked of the scale and horrific nature of wrongful death on the Conception a California dive boat. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims.