UPDATE: 12 p.m. — The Coast Guard has helicopters, small boats, and a patrol cutter in the area for a search-and-rescue operation off of Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles (140 kilometers) from Los Angeles.
The Ventura County Fire Department said on Twitter that it responded to the fire around 3:30 a.m. A photo tweeted by the department shows a boat engulfed in flames.
It’s not clear how many people were on the boat, but the Coast Guard earlier said that more than 30 people were “in distress.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters say there were some deaths in a fire on a boat carrying dozens of people off the coast of Southern California.
The U.S. Coast Guard and firefighters responded early Monday to a fire on a dive boat near Santa Cruz Island.
The Daily Beast quoted Capt. Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department as saying that there were deaths. But McGrath said he could not give a number because the Coast Guard was still searching the water.
He said that five people had been rescued, one with a moderate injury. He said 34 people were still unaccounted for.
The Coast Guard in Los Angeles said earlier that more than 30 people were “in distress” aboard the boat.
Santa Cruz Island is off the coast of Santa Barbara.
The U.S. Coast Guard launched multiple rescue assets along with local responders to a call that a 75-foot boat was on fire near Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California.
The USCG got the call early Monday morning, Labor Day, September 2, and joined forces with local rescue teams.
The Coast Guard tweeted out that the rescue operation is still ongoing and that the crew had been safely removed.