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More Claims Filed In Conception Dive Boat Fire

A display at the news conference announcing the claims included photographs of victims Yulia Krashennaya (left) and married couple Kaustubh Nirmal and Sanjeeri Deopujari. (Elly Yu/LAist)
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The families of four people who died in last year's Conception dive boat fire off the coast of Santa Barbara have filed wrongful death claims against the vessel's owners.

The fire killed 34 people on Labor Day. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board had noted that no one was standing watch when the fire broke out in the middle of the night.

In federal court filings Monday, the families' lawyers allege boat owner Truth Aquatics violated a number of Coast Guard regulations, including:

  • Not having a "roving" safety watchman
  • Not having a safe way to store and charge lithium ion batteries
  • Not having enough emergency exits

This isn't the first legal claim against Truth Aquatics. A crew member who survived, Ryan Sims, alleges in a lawsuit filed Sept. 12 that the Conception's owners were negligent in their failure to properly train crew members, give adequate safety and medical equipment and provide safety rules, among other claims. Christine Dignam, whose husband, Justin Dignam, died in the fire, sued in November, claiming the boat was unsafe.

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