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Families of 34 killed in dive boat disaster sue Coast Guard

California Boat Fire
Posted at 3:50 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 18:50:47-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Family members of the 34 people killed in a fire aboard a scuba diving boat off the California coast two years ago have sued the U.S. Coast Guard for lax enforcement of safety regulations.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday says the Coast Guard has repeatedly certified passenger boats that are fire traps.

Federal safety inspectors blamed the ship's captain for not posting a night watchman when the fire broke out off Santa Cruz Island in 2019, and also called for changes in Coast Guard safety regulations.

The boat's captain has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges.

The Coast Guard declined to comment on pending litigation.