34 Missing After Boat Fire Off California Coast

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Authorities confirmed 34 persons are missing after a fire broke out on a boat near the Ventura County coastline in California.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Ventura County Fire Department responded to reports of a boat fire around 3:30 a.m. on Monday, according to CBS Los Angeles. The blazing, 75 foot boat was about 30 miles west of Ventura, California, on the north side of Santa Cruz Island.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Brian McGrath said that they rescued five people but that 34 persons were still missing, according to CBS Los Angeles. The exact number of fatalities is unknown. (RELATED: Court Overturns Conviction Of Five-Time Deported Immigrant Who Shot Kate Steinle)

“BREAKING NEWS: The Coast Guard has launched multiple rescue assets along with assets from local agencies to assist more than 30 people in distress on a 75ft boat near Santa Cruz Island. More details will be available later as this operation continues,” the United States Coast Guard of Los Angeles tweeted Monday.

The vessel was reported as being on fire,” the USCG tweeted later in the morning. “The a group of crew members has been rescued (one with minor injuries) and efforts continue to evacuate the remaining passengers.”

The Coast Guard also checked to see if any persons on the boat had jumped into the water or swam to the rocks. The fire department said that the coast guard was still fighting the fire as of 6:30 am, according to CBS Los Angeles.

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