BIG Blast! Four-Year Prison Sentence For Scuba Captain in Tragic Boat Fire Case

“BIG Blast!” Four-Year Prison Sentence For Scuba Captain in Tragic Boat Fire Case

DEBARYLIFE – Over five years after 34 people perished in a fire onboard his scuba diving boat, the Conception, off the coast of California, the captain was found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced to four years in jail.

Jerry Boylan was charged with one count of misconduct or neglect by a ship officer and found guilty of seaman’s manslaughter in 2023 for his role in the unintentional deaths of 33 passengers and one crew member.

One of the bloodiest maritime mishaps in recent American history, according to some accounts.

The majority of the 39 individuals on board, who mostly slept below deck, were asleep when the Conception, his yacht, caught fire early on September 2, 2019.

Boylan, together with four crew members, fled the boat, according to the prosecution, instead of using the public address system to alert the passengers to the fire or provide assistance.

BIG Blast! Four-Year Prison Sentence For Scuba Captain in Tragic Boat Fire Case (1)

Additionally, the prosecution claimed that Boylan was generally negligent in his duty as a captain and that he made no attempt to put out the fire using the extinguishers on board.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “the defendant’s duties as captain are the key issue here.”

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In an interview with CBS News, defense attorneys claimed Boylan only left the Conception when he was certain he would not live and that he remained on board long enough to send out a mayday call to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Boylan failed to post a night watchman, which allowed the fire to spread throughout the ship unnoticed, as the prosecution pointed out, meaning that all six crew members were asleep at the time of the event. The smoke alarms on the boat never went off, according to survivors, according to court records.

In his sentencing documents, the prosecution stated that the defendant “has never apologized, much less taken any responsibility for the atrocity he caused.”

The Conception fire was fully engulfed in flames by the time rescue teams arrived, an hour after the initial distress call, and the cause of the fire was never discovered by federal investigators. Each of the 34 individuals had passed away.

In court filings, there was conjecture that lithium-ion batteries might have started the fire.

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