Captain of Conception dive boat found guilty

Photo by ZUMA Wire

Jury makes its verdict four years after 34 people died 

Four years after the deadliest maritime disaster in recent U.S. history a jury has found the captain of the Conception dive boat guilty of misconduct and negligence. 67-year-old Jerry Boylan faces up to 10 years in prison. Boylan was the captain of the Conception that caught fire overnight on September 2, 2019. The boat was anchored miles off shore of Santa Barbara. 33 passengers and one crew member died aboard when they were trapped below deck when flames engulfed the vessel. Prosecutors said Boylan failed to post the required roving night watch and never properly trained his crew in firefighting. The lack of a watch person meant the fire was able to spread undetected across the boat. A federal jury on Monday found Boylan criminally negligent in what’s known as seaman’s manslaughter. Boylan was the first to abandon ship and jump overboard. Four crew members who joined him also survived. Boylan was the only crew member to face criminal charges. Sentencing is set for February 8.