Weather Alert

Watchman could have saved lives in California boat fire

By STEFANIE DAZIO and TOM KRISHER Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal investigators say the lack of a required roving night watchman aboard a scuba dive boat delayed the detection of a fire that killed 34 people off the coast of Southern California. The predawn blaze aboard the Conception is one of California’s deadliest maritime disasters. Investigators told the NTSB on Tuesday that because the boat burned and sank, they couldn’t determine what caused the fire. But they found that it began toward the back of the main deck salon area, where divers had plugged in phones, flashlights and other items with lithium ion batteries that can spread flames quickly.


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