February 7, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Federal Grand Jury Issues New Indictment in Conception Boat Fire That Killed 2 Santa Monicans and 32 Other People

Jury deems Captain Jerry Nehl Boylan responsible for safety on dive boat charged in indictment that alleges misconduct, gross negligence and inattention to duties in deaths of 34 people

The captain of a Santa Barbara-based dive boat that caught fire near Santa Cruz Island in 2019, killing  33 passengers –including two Santa Monicans – and one crew member, was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on a charge of misconduct or neglect of ship officer.

The one-count indictment naming Jerry Nehl Boylan, 68, of Santa Barbara, alleges a series of failures and the abandoning of his ship, the P/V Conception, which constituted “misconduct, gross negligence, and inattention to his duties” and led to the deaths of 34 victims. Among those who died were Santa Monica residents Charles Mcllvain and Marybeth Guiney.

The new indictment reinstates the charge against Boylan after a federal judge last month dismissed a previous indictment charging Boylan with the same offense because it did not allege gross negligence.

The charge of misconduct or neglect of ship officer contained in the new indictment alleges that Boylan – who “was responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, its crew, and its passengers” – failed his responsibilities in several ways, including by:

  • failing to have a night watch or roving patrol;
  • failing to conduct sufficient fire drills and crew training;
  • failing to provide firefighting instructions or directions to crewmembers after the fire started;
  • failing to use firefighting equipment, including a fire ax and fire extinguisher that were next to him in the wheelhouse, to fight the fire or attempt to rescue trapped passengers;
  • failing to “to perform any lifesaving or firefighting activities whatsoever at the time of the fire, even though he was uninjured”;
  • failing to use the boat’s public address system to warn passengers and crewmembers about the fire; and
  • becoming the first crewmember to abandon ship “even though 33 passengers and one crewmember were still alive and trapped below deck in the vessel’s bunkroom and in need of assistance to escape.”

The Conception was a 75-foot, wood-and-fiberglass passenger vessel that docked in Santa Barbara Harbor. During a Labor Day weekend dive trip in 2019, the boat carried 33 passengers and six crew members, including Boylan. During the early morning hours of September 2, 2019, a fire broke out while the boat was anchored in Platt’s Harbor near Santa Cruz Island. The fire, which engulfed the boat and led to its sinking, resulted in the deaths of 34 people who had been sleeping below deck. Five crewmembers, including Boylan, were able to escape and survived.

Boylan will be directed to appear in the coming weeks in United States District Court for an arraignment on the new indictment.

The charge of misconduct or neglect of ship officer carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

in News
Related Posts

Sofia Klatzker Named Cultural Affairs Manager of Santa Monica

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Klatzker to replace Shannon Daut in role to oversee arts, culture and creative policies in the City Sofia Klatzker has...

Duo Charged for Alleged Caregiver Fraud Scheme Against Malibu Physician Who Was Drugged With LSD in Final Days

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Anthony David Flores and Anna Rene Moore face up to 20 years in prison A Fresno hairstylist and an actress...

Metro Working on Plan to Provide Shelter for Homeless Passengers When Trains Are Emptied

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Metro estimates that 800 people use Metro train and rapid transit bus stations as shelter each night By Dolores Quintana...

Arrests Made in Daylight Armed Robbery of Rolex in Downtown Santa Monica

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Leroy McCrary and Donta Baker arrested in connection to September robbery By Sam Catanzaro Two men have been arrested for...

Santa Monica Nonprofit WISE & Healthy Aging Launches Advocacy Website

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

WISEOmbudsman.org designed to provide tools s to those who are looking to get better care in a skilled nursing or...

Tishman Speyer Announces Basis Investment Group as Equity Partner for Santa Monica Collection

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

BIG’s $30 million commitment — 11 percent of total equity — to the 3.1-acre mixed-use development will help create 617...

Two Industry Titans Invest $30M in Lavish Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica Homes

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

David Bonderman and Christa Campbell recently acquired two lavish homes By Dolores Quintana Private equity tycoon David Bonderman and his...

Four-Year-Old Mountain Lion P-81 Found Dead on PCH

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

P-81 found on Pacific Coast Highway near Las Posas Road On Sunday, January 22, the California Department of Fish and...

Rep. Lieu Secures $2.5 Million for Local Projects in Santa Monica

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Funding will go towards Santa Monica Behavioral Health Center and Ready to Succeed Scholarship program  By Sam Catanzaro ​​Congressman Ted...

Steve Marcy, Beloved Lincoln Middle School Teacher and Scoutmaster, Passes Away at 77

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Longtime Lincoln math teacher passes away  ​​Steve Marcy, beloved Lincoln Middle School teacher and Scoutmaster of Santa Monica Boy Scout...

California Referendum Postpones Controversial Fast Recovery Act That Would Increase Hourly Wages for Fast-Food Workers to $22

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

AB 257 would create a board of 11 appointees to negotiate on behalf of fast food workers in California Last...

Highly-Anticipated Downtown Santa Monica Restaurant Close to Opening

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Bar Monette close to opening at 109 Santa Monica Boulevard By Dolores Quintana Bar Monette is almost ready to open...

SMC Receives Grant to Expand Access to Critical Support Services for Foster Youth

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

New NextUp program will provide academic & comprehensive support, plus direct financial aid to foster youth enrolled at SMC Santa...

Find Inspiration in Moses Sparks’ Latest Collection of Tree Portraits in the Santa Monica Mountains

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

The exhibition and sale run from February 1st – 26th at the King Gillette Ranch Visitor Center  Internationally-acclaimed wildlife photographer,...

Pacific Park Joins The City Of Santa Monica To Recognize ‘Black History Month’ With Ferris Wheel Salute

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Display of red, yellow and green colors, patterns and transitions beginning at sunset February 1 On Wednesday, February 1, the...