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HomeNewsCaptain indicted on new charge in boat fire that killed 34 off...

Captain indicted on new charge in boat fire that killed 34 off Southern California

The captain of a California dive boat that caught fireplace in 2019, killing 34 folks on board, was indicted Tuesday on a brand new rely of negligence within the catastrophe.

Jerry Nehl Boylan, 68, was indicted by a grand jury on one rely of misconduct or neglect of ship officer, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace in Los Angeles stated.

The brand new indictment comes a month after a choose threw out an earlier indictment as a result of it didn’t allege gross negligence within the charging doc.

The case was dismissed with out prejudice, which implies it may very well be refiled, in response to court docket paperwork. The brand new indictment does allege gross negligence.

Federal public defenders listed as representing Boylan didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Tuesday evening.

The cost carries a most of 10 years in jail, the U.S. legal professional’s workplace stated.

Prosecutors say Boylan did not have an evening watch and didn’t attempt to combat the hearth, amongst different missteps. The blaze erupted within the early morning hours of Sept. 2 because the ship was anchored off Santa Cruz Island.

Tuesday’s indictment additionally alleges that Boylan was the primary to desert ship and cites “his failure to carry out any lifesaving or firefighting actions in any respect on the time of the hearth.”

Boylan’s protection attorneys have stated in earlier filings that Boylan made a misery name however was overcome by smoke and jumped into the water. He swam to the rear however the deckhouse and the escape exit for passengers “was totally engulfed,” they stated.

Thirty-three passengers and one crew member died. They have been sleeping under deck when the hearth broke out, officers stated. Boylan and 4 different crew members survived.

Federal investigators by no means decided the reason for the hearth as a result of the boat burned and sank.

However the Nationwide Transportation Security Board faulted the proprietor and operator of the Conception for a scarcity of oversight and stated a scarcity of a roving patrol allowed the hearth to develop and led to so many deaths.

The NTSB additionally faulted the Coast Guard for not imposing roving patrols and stated the Coast Guard must confirm that boat operators are conducting patrols as required.

All 34 folks died of smoke inhalation, the NTSB has stated. There have been two exits from the berthing space, and each “led to the fire- and smoke-filled enclosed space above,” it stated.

Boylan was initially indicted in December 2020 on 34 counts of what the indictment referred to as “seaman’s manslaughter,” which is a time period generally used to check with the misconduct or neglect of ship officers statute.

However in July prosecutors filed a superseding indictment that charged one rely that coated the deaths of all 34 folks, in response to court docket paperwork.

When U.S. District Choose George H. Wu dismissed the indictment in September, he did so after Boylan’s attorneys argued an allegation of gross negligence was a required ingredient of the crime. Wu wrote he discovered the argument convincing.

After the hearth, Congress in 2020 required that the Coast Guard undertake NTSB laws as a part of a federal legislation that dealt partially with authorization of funding, in response to the transportation company.

The Coast Guard introduced new security guidelines in January, The Related Press reported on the time.

The Related Press and Diana Dasrath contributed.

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