Dozens Missing, Feared Dead in California Boat Fire

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 2, 2019 Updated: September 2, 2019

At least 33 people are feared to be dead after a boat went up in flames on Sept. 2 off the Ventura County, California, coast, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Fox News reported on the suspected death toll in a news update.

“Currently, 33 people aboard the vessel are unaccounted for,” the Coast Guard said in a news release. It added that five people “were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft Great Escape.”

The boat was described as being 75 feet in length by local news outlets.

The Ventura County Fire Department said that 34 people died. However, the U.S. Coast Guard has not confirmed any deaths, according to KTLA.

A rescue operation was underway as of about 4:45 a.m. local time, according to the local U.S. Coast Guard office.

The Coast Guard’s Los Angeles office wrote that it “has launched multiple rescue assets along with assets from local agencies to assist more than 30 people in distress on a 75ft boat near Santa Cruz Island. More details will be available later as this operation continues.”

Later, the office wrote that the vessel “was reported as being on fire.”

Coast Guard officials told ABC7 that a group of crew members were rescued, ABC7 reported.

It’s not clear how many people were on board the vessel.

Photos posted by the fire department showed crews responding to the blaze on board.

Other details about the incident are not clear.

Crash Deaths in the United States

Tens of thousands of people are killed and millions injured each year from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says these deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

The major risk factors for crash deaths in the United States are not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats (factors in over 9,500 crash deaths); drunk driving (a factor in more than 10,000 crash deaths); and speeding (contributing to more than 9,500 crash deaths).

Police tape is shown in Toronto, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
Police tape is shown in a stock photo (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

According to 2017 data from the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

These further break down as follows: the most common are unintentional poisoning deaths (58,335), followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths (40,327), and unintentional fall deaths in third place (34,673).

The total number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 was 30.8 million, according to the CDC.

The 10 leading causes accounted for 74 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.