The Latest: Coast Guard issues safety edict after boat fire

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal boat fire off the Southern California coast that killed 34 people (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The Coast Guard has issued safety recommendations in the wake of a fatal boat fire off the Southern California coast that killed 34 people.

A Coast Guard bulletin says the owners and operators of vessels should immediately reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords.

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The bulletin also says vessels should review emergency duties with the crew, identify emergency escapes, check all firefighting and lifesaving equipment onboard, and look at the condition of passenger accommodation spaces for “unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements.”

The Coast Guard is among several agencies investigating the Sept. 2 fire. A cause has yet to be determined.

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11:14 a.m

Authorities say divers have resumed a search for the final missing victim who perished in a boat fire off the Southern California coast.

The victim is one of 34 who died at sea last week near Santa Cruz Island. Five of the Conception’s six crew members survived after multiple attempts to save the others who were trapped below deck.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney says salvage efforts to recover the Conception also resumed Wednesday.

A criminal investigation of the fire is being handled by the Coast Guard, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Authorities have said the victims, 21 women and 13 men from 16 to 62 years old, appear to have died from smoke inhalation.

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