Experienced Chemical Burn Negligence Lawyer Elliot Olsen | Siegel Brill Injury Law | Chemical Burn Negligence Attorney

Wrongful death lawyer Elliot Olsen has regained millions for people who have lost a loved one. If you lost a loved one in this tragic Santa Barbara boat fire, please call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation. He understands the pain suffered after a wrongful death, and he can help you recover from such a devastating loss.

The Santa Barbara boat fire early Monday morning has officially claimed 34 lives as the search for bodies has been called off by authorities.

The fire aboard the Conception blocked any escape for the people sleeping below deck, investigators have determined. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said all 34 victims – 33 passengers and one crew member – were trapped in the lower deck when the fire started at about 3 a.m. and quickly blocked both a narrow stairway and an escape hatch leading to the upper deck.

“The one crew member who was not rescued appears to have been asleep in the sleeping area down below with the passengers,” Brown said.

Santa Barbara boat fire:
NTSB seeks answers

Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said she was “100 percent confident” that investigators would determine the cause of the fire aboard the Conception, which sank near Santa Cruz Island.

Homendy also said NTSB investigators planned to stay at the scene for up to 10 days and would look into safety measures aboard the boat, such as whether it was equipped with fire extinguishers, and will interview the five survivors, first-responders, and others.

Santa Barbara boat fire:
Numerous mayday calls

The captain and four crew members were awake on the upper decks when the fire started, and they jumped into the water, swam to an inflatable boat at the back, and steered it to a ship anchored nearby. It also appears the crew sent multiple mayday calls before escaping, including one in which a crew member could be heard saying he couldn’t breathe.

A later mayday call came from the fishing vessel the Grape Escape after the five crew members reached it in their inflatable boat. One of the vessel’s owners said he heard explosions as he watched the Conception become engulfed in flames from about 100 yards away.

Brown said the blasts could have been exploding propane tanks or scuba tanks.

Santa Barbara boat fire claims 34 lives; search for bodies is ended

The Santa Barbara boat fire early Monday morning has officially claimed 34 lives as the search for bodies has been called off by authorities.

Santa Barbara boat fire:
Identities to be determined

DNA will be required to identify all 34 victims, and Brown said investigators will use the same rapid analysis tool that identified last year’s victims of the deadly wildfire that devastated the town of Paradise in Northern California.

Brown said he had heard anecdotally that victims ranged in age from teenagers to people in their 60s. He said most of the victims appear to have been from Northern California, including Santa Cruz, San Jose, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Santa Barbara boat fire:
About Channel Islands

The Conception, a 75-foot diving and fishing charter boat, was carrying scuba diving enthusiasts on a three-day excursion off the coast of Southern California. The boat, which is owned and operated by Truth Aquatics, was on the last day of a three-day excursion to the Channel Islands in the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles and was anchored in Platt’s Harbor off Santa Cruz Island when the fire hit.

The Channel Islands form an eight-island archipelago along the Santa Barbara Channel in the Pacific Ocean. Five of its islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, and the waters surrounding those islands make up Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.


People left behind after a wrongful death can be compensated for:

  • Mental anguish and loss of solace, including loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance.
  • Reasonably expected loss in income of the decedent suffered by the survivor(s).
  • Reasonably expected loss of services, protection, care, and/or assistance provided by the decedent to the survivor(s).
  • Reasonable funeral expenses.

Wrongful death lawyer Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people who lost a loved one. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out this form and submitting it: