At the time of the devastating fire on a ship off the coast of California, all crew members slept and disregarded legal requirements. This is clear from the preliminary investigation report, which has now been published by the US traffic safety authority NTSB.
The crew of the "Conception" had been obliged to turn off a night watch, which could have sounded an alarm in an emergency, said the NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy the "Los Angeles Times". Instead, five crew members had slept in bunks behind the wheelhouse, another crew member had slept with the other boat occupants below deck.
The "Conception" had exploded into flames in early September during a three-day dive excursion just 20 meters off the coast of the island of Santa Cruz and sunk. The accident killed 34 people, 33 passengers and one crew member.
Burning boat on 2 september
The fact that all passengers had slept below deck, as the submarine "Conception" in front of the island of Santa Cruz Iceland went up in flames, was already known - but not that no crew member took over the task of statutory night watch. Five employees who were on the deck had been able to escape into the water after the fire broke out.
According to the authorities, all 34 bodies were recovered and identified. The cause of the fire is still unknown. According to the Coast Guard, the excursion boat met the requirements of the annual safety inspection. The ship will soon be salvaged and inspected by experts at a secret location.