At least 34 people are missing after a ship caught fire in the last hours near the island of Santa Cruz, in southern California, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department said Monday.
The spokesman, quoted by local media, said that five people were rescued from the boat and that one of them suffered minor injuries.
The Ventura Fire Department said on Twitter that it came to the rescue of the ship at 03.28 local time (10.28 GMT time).
The Los Angeles Coast Guard said it has mobilized «multiple rescue assets along with local agency assets to assist 30 people in distress in a 75-foot boat (about 22.86 meters) near Santa Cruz Island,» reviewed the international news agency EFE.
The Coast Guard explained that they received information that the vessel was on fire.
«A group of crew members has been rescued (one of them with minor injuries) and efforts continue to evacuate the remaining passengers,» the Coast Guard confirmed.
The ship, named Conception, departed from Santa Barbara on Saturday for a diving excursion, according to the Truth Aquatics company website.
The boat was expected to return to the coast today at 5:00 p.m. local time (00:00 a.m.)
According to the website of that company, the Conception was going to visit San Miguel this weekend for a diving excursion.
At the moment, the reasons for the fire are unknown.
A head of the Los Angeles Coast Guard, Josue Mendez, confirmed in statements to the CNN television network that four members of the Conception crew have already been rescued and taken to the coast.
Meanwhile, the ship’s captain continues at the scene of the accident.