Owner of Conception Boat Speaks Out
Conception in front of a rainbow on the open seas (Photo: Mike Eliason)
By edhat staff
The owner of the Conception diving boat that caught fire and 34 lost their lives people on Monday addressed rumors in a recent interview.
Glen Fritzler, the owner of Truth Aquatics Inc. which operates three diving boats in the Santa Barbara Harbor including Conception, answered questions and provided clarification in a phone interview on Tuesday with Spectrum News.
During the interview, Fritzler stressed there were two entrances into the bunking area on Conception, a main entrance via stairs and an emergency escape hatch. The U.S. Coast Guard has also confirmed this in press conferences. He also stated there were no doors and it was a wide-open doorway without the possibility of locked doors.
Five of the six crew members survived the fire because they were on the upper deck of the vessel where all the passengers and one crew member slept in the below-deck bunking area.
"... the flames reached up there and they had to make a large leap off the boat to escape the boat ... I want [the public] to know that a couple of the crewmen swam to the stern of the boat, that could not access any of the fire hoses because they were engulfed," said Fritzler during the interview.
He also confirmed the two mayday calls were made in the wheelhouse of Conception by the captain who was the last to leave the boat.
When asked how the crew is doing, Fritzler said they're emotional wrecks most likely suffering from survivor's guilt.
It was confirmed there was no type of accelerant on the boat as everything is electric.
"Of all of the years I've been in this business, I've never seen or heard of anything like this," Fritzler told Spectrum News. "It's a complete tragedy. It's horrible."
The full interview can be read here.