Santa Barbara- S County

Conception investigation could lead to urgent safety recommendations

Conception investigation could lead to urgent safety regulations before NTSB report is complete

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With the exception of a crew member who broke his leg, the surviving crew members of dive boat Conception were tested for drugs and alcohol on Labor Day.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jason Neubauer said,"The alcohol testing was conducted on four of the five crew members, one of the injured crew members was unable to be alcohol tested."

NTSB board members Jennifer Homendy said they tested negative for alcohol but that toxicology results were pending.

She said the final investigation results would take12-18 month, but if they find something that could save lives they would issue urgent regulation recommendations.

When asked about the gas mixture Nitrox and dive equipment she said, "That is information that we are still looking to receive."

After the official's news conference, Capt. Neubauer was asked repeatedly about the hatch on the Conception. 

"Both egress routes, that escape hatch and the stairs, kind of came to the same common space, which included the galley fore and the passenger area, and there was a little box cover over the hatch."

A member of the National Association of Charterboat Operators drove down from Monterey to talk about his industry.

Capt. Joseph Headley of Opa! Sailing Adventures said, "We don't go to sea to put ourselves as risk, we need to find out what happened and mitigate the risk, so yes, we have interest in finding out what caused this."

The owner of Truth Aquatics has chosen not to operate the Vision or Truth vessels at this time.  

Watch the Friday press briefing

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