San Luis Obispo County

Boating community in Morro Bay: Santa Cruz Island boat fire "hits close to home"

Boating community in Morro Bay say...

MORRO BAY, Calif. - For the boating community in Morro Bay, Labor Day's fatal boat fire off Santa Cruz Island hits close to home. 

"Morro Bay is a big fishing community, we have a lot of fishing boats and dive boats that go out. It kinda makes you realize it can happen to anyone," said Zoey Andres, a crew member at Chablis Cruises.

"It's just been the talk of the town, it's horrible," said ship owner, Annie Clapp.

Chablis Cruises offers public tours and private charters all year long. Clapp says they take heavy precautions and prepare for all types of emergencies.

"We are inspected by the Coast Guard three times every two years," she said. 

"We also haul the boat out of the water every two years and do a whole inspection with the Coast Guard underneath, and all the little nooks and crannies of the boat," said Andres. 

There are a number of regulations when it comes to fire safety, as well. 

"You actually need two fire suppression systems on your vessel at all times," said Clapp. "So you can have like the chemical suppression, but then you also need water. If either of those systems went out, that would be considered a 'No sail.'"

"We have our captain do safety checks of the engine before we have passengers come on board, the crew goes from top to bottom making sure everything from the lines to the antennas are all in working order," said Andres. "If God forbids something happens, we know how to respond to it."

The cruise agency performs fire drills every few months, and briefs guests on what to do in case of emergency before setting sail. 

Watch the Tuesday 10 a.m. press conference:

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