Monday, May 27, 2024

Captain Of Conception Dive Boat Fire Sentenced To Four Years in Prison


A US federal judge in California has sentenced the captain of the dive boat Conception to four years in prison for a fire that killed 34 people in 2019.

A federal jury last November found Captain Jerry Boylan guilty of criminal negligence.

The fire was the deadliest maritime disaster in recent US history.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Boylan failed to discharge his duties and neglected safety measures. This resulted in the boat burning down entirely while anchored near Santa Cruz Island off the California coast.

Prior to the sentencing, US District Judge George Wu denied a motion by Boylan for a new trial.

Boylan wanted a new trial because of an alleged flawed prosecution and the alleged false testimony of a former crew member. However, the judge rejected both of those arguments.

After the sentencing, US Attorney Martin Estrada said:

“The defendant’s cowardice and repeated failures caused the horrific deaths of 34 people. The victims’ families will be forever devastated by this needless tragedy. While today’s sentence cannot fully heal their wounds, we hope that our efforts to hold this defendant criminally accountable brings some measure of healing to the families.”

Mehtab Syed, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, added:

“The fate of the victims on the Conception might have been different were it not for the negligence of the defendant. I want to commend the collaborative effort by investigators and prosecutors that led to today’s sentence and hope that it delivers a measure of justice to the victims’ families as they continue to heal from this tragedy.”

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.