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Last ‘Conception’ Diver Found

Recovery Operation Succeeds in Locating 34th Victim

Photo: U.S. Coast GuardRescue efforts off Santa Cruz Island (pictured here on September 5) were successful today in recovering the body of the last diver who died aboard the Conception.

The dive teams working the recovery operation off the Conception dive boat located the last missing diver, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office announced this afternoon. Numerous boats and divers are off the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, Sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Erik Raney said, and it was unclear where exactly the body was located. The announcement from Unified Command — U.S. Coast Guard and S.B. County Fire and Sheriff —stated they were “relieved” the search and recovery mission was successful.

DNA analyses will now be conducted on the seven victims who have yet to be positively matched up with samples from family members. Notification to next-of-kin would also need to be done before any further positive identification can be announced, Raney said.

The Conception sank on Labor Day after being consumed by flames in an early morning fire that FBI, ATF, and multiple other agencies are investigating. Thirty-four people died in the fire; five crew members survived.

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