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The Latest California dive boat owner ’devastated’

LOS ANGELES — The Latest on the deadly California dive boat fire investigation (all times local):

10:10 a.m.

The owner of the scuba dive boat that burned off Southern California, killing 34 people, says he and his family are devastated.

Glen Fritzler of Truth Aquatics says in an Instagram post Friday that no words will ease the pain that the victims’ loved ones are feeling, but he and his family extend “deepest condolences” for Monday’s tragedy.

Fritzler says it’s a family-run business and customers and crew members are family to them.

Authorities are investigating how a fire started and swept through the boat as people slept below deck, trapping them.

Five crew members were able to escape by jumping from the burning boat after they say they tried to rescue those who died.


10:30 p.m.

Crew members who jumped from a burning scuba diving boat off Southern California said they tried to rescue the 34 people who perished in the fiery sinking but couldn’t reach them.

Federal investigators say crew members on the Conception couldn’t reach those in bunks below deck Monday because an entrance through the galley was on fire and they couldn’t open windows at the front before being forced to jump ship.

The boat owner, Glen Fritzler, tells KEYT-TV that the crew did everything possible and the captain stayed aboard so long that he appeared to be trailing smoke when he leapt into the water.

He also says flames kept the crew from reaching firefighting equipment.

Fritzler says the five survivors are “breaking down” from the experience and are seeking counseling.

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