The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue their response to a vessel fire that led to the Conception sinking near Santa Cruz Island in Southern California on Monday morning.
A family assistance number has been established at (833) 688-5551 or (800) 400-1572.
A 3,000-foot temporary flight restriction has been established around the Conception.
Thirty-nine people were reported aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Five people, all crew members, were rescued from the water during the initial response to the incident. Several deceased victims have also been recovered from the scene.
The Coast Guard is actively searching for additional people. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office will release information regarding victims as it becomes available. A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday morning.
The vessel Conception sank around 7:20 a.m.
The cause of the incident is under investigation and names are being withheld pending next of kin notifications.
A Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, a Forward Operating Base Mugu MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are on scene.
The Coast Guard is scheduled to continue their search efforts throughout the night.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call via channel 16 of an engulfed 75-foot commercial diving vessel with 39 people aboard.
Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded. The fire department crews were fighting the fire when the vessel sank 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water.
Five people were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft, the Grape Escape.
Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews, a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu Dolphin MH-65 helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Air Station San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal.
The vessel is reported to have a one-foot portion of the bow sticking out of the water.
NEW: Just spoke to Bob, captain of the Grape Escape, the boat that rescued the crew of the #Conception. Says he woke up at 330am to the crew pounding on his boat in their underwear after they went in the water. Captains clothes on his boat still. Never heard screams. 10pm @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/DqVjJP7WDD
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 3, 2019
UPDATE 12:45 a.m. EST: The Coast Guard says 25 bodies have been found, with nine people still missing.