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Madera boat rescues crew members from diving charter that caught fire

The burned-out hull of the Santa Barbara-based Conception dive boat shortly before it sank Monday near Santa Cruz Island. Four bodies have been recovered, and at least 29 people are missing or feared dead.
The burned-out hull of the Santa Barbara-based Conception dive boat shortly before it sank Monday near Santa Cruz Island. Four bodies have been recovered, and at least 29 people are missing or feared dead.

A couple on a Madera boat rescued the five crew members who escaped the fiery tragedy early Monday morning off the Ventura coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the Grape Escape was the only nearby boat when the fire aboard the Conception diving charter broke out.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Shirley Hansen and her husband, Bob, were jarred awake about 3:30 a.m. by the sound of pounding on the side of their 60-foot fishing boat.

The crew had escaped the Conception by jumping into the ocean, retrieving a dinghy and paddling 200 yards to the Hansens’ boat Shirley Hansen said in an interview.

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