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SGT Unit Supply Specialist
PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
..."Jerry Boylan, 68, was convicted of one count of misconduct or neglect of ship officer, a pre-Civil War statute that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each of the 34 counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 16, 2024.

Boylan was the captain of the Conception, a 75-foot vessel that was carrying 33 passengers and six crew members on a Labor Day weekend diving expedition near Santa Cruz Island, about 20 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, when it erupted in flames in the early hours of September 2, 2019.

The victims, who ranged in age from 16 to 62, were sleeping in a cramped bunkroom below the main deck and were trapped by the fire. They died from smoke inhalation, not burns, according to the coroner’s report. The victims included a family of five, a marine biologist, a high school teacher, a nurse, and a software engineer.

Boylan was among the five crew members who escaped the burning vessel by jumping into the water and taking refuge on a nearby boat. The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but investigators have suggested that it may have been sparked by faulty electrical wiring or batteries that were being charged overnight.

Prosecutors argued that Boylan was responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, its crew and its passengers, and that he failed on all counts. They said that he did not have a night watchman on duty, as required by law, to monitor for fire or other hazards. They also said that he did not conduct sufficient fire drills, and that he did not maintain adequate fire extinguishers and smoke detectors on the boat."...
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