Of the 34 victims of the Conception dive boat fire, nearly all were passengers participating in a diving adventure. In fact, just 5 people survived, all of whom were crew members aboard the vessel. At least one of those surviving crew members is now suing the boat’s owner.
NBC Los Angeles reports that crew member Ryan Sims broke his leg when he jumped from the Conception as the fire raged. The ship was eventually consumed by the fire and sank to the sea floor.
The suit alleges that the ship’s owner was negligent in at least 19 different ways, including:
- Maintaining the Conception in an unseaworthy condition
- Failing to provide adequate safety equipment
- Failing to provide adequate safety rules
- Failing to properly train employees
As the report notes, though the cause of the fire is not known, a preliminary NTSB report indicates that all Conception six crew members who were aboard the vessel when the fire broke out were asleep when the fire started. This is in violation of federal regulations which required the Conception to have at least one night watchman. The NTSB has indicated that it is looking into electronic batteries and charging stations as a possible clue.
Reports indicate that the Conception’s owner has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. The suit is intended as an attempt by the company to limit its liability. Those looking to recover compensation in order to try to attempt to put the pieces of their lives back together should contact an experienced maritime attorney to handle this very specialized case.
The suit names Truth Aquatics as the defendant.