Carbajal Statement Following NTSB Hearing on the Conception Boat Fire

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Salud Carbajal issued the following statement after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) meeting to discuss the findings of their investigation on the Conception boat fire:

“Just last year, we lost 34 lives and experienced the worst maritime disaster in California history when the Conception dive boat caught fire and sank off the Central Coast. In the wake of this unbelievable tragedy, I introduced the Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act with Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Julia Brownley to institute long overdue safety reforms for small passenger vessels like Conception.

“This bill addresses many of the shortcomings uncovered in the NTSB’s investigation and reflected in their findings. The bill requires interconnected fire detection equipment and two different means of escape, calls for the use of monitoring devices to ensure a roving patrol is awake, and directs the Coast Guard to create and adhere to safety rules around flammable items like lithium batteries.

“The NTSB’s investigation and findings underscore the critical importance of passing this legislation and ensuring the Coast Guard enforce existing and updated safety regulations. I am hopeful that this bill will be signed into law so we can honor the memory of the 34 lives lost by working to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.”

An abstract of the final report is available here.

More information on the Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act is available here.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County.


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