Injured crewman sues boat owner for fiery disaster that killed 34 people

Ryan Sims filed the lawsuit last week in Ventura County Superior Court saying the Conception dive boat was unseaworthy and operated in an unsafe manner.
Image: The burned hull of the Conception is hoisted from the water off Santa Cruz Island, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2019.
The burned hull of the Conception is hoisted from the water off Santa Cruz Island, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2019.Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via AP file

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By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A crewman injured in the fire that killed 34 people aboard a dive boat off Southern California has sued the boat owner and the company that chartered the vessel.

Ryan Sims filed the lawsuit last week in Ventura County Superior Court saying the Conception dive boat was unseaworthy and operated in an unsafe manner.

Attorney Kurt Arnold says Sims was the steward and was sleeping on the upper deck of the boat when he was awakened by loud noises the morning of Sept. 2 and found the vessel on fire.

Arnold says his client was trapped and had to jump to the lower deck, where he broke his leg in three places.

A lawyer for the Santa Barbara-based boat company did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the lawsuit.