Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) released the following statement following the boat fire near Santa Cruz Island:

“My heart goes out to the families of all those individuals who perished aboard the Conception early this morning in Platts Harbor along the north side of Santa Cruz Island. This three-day dive excursion was cut short by the tragic fire that sadly took the lives of many onboard.

“The U.S. Coast Guard and Ventura County Fire Department were among the first on the scene, and rescues of several crew members were aided by good samaritans aboard a nearby boat.

“A team from the National Transportation Safety Board has been dispatched to investigate this tragic incident.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has set up a Family Center for those who lost loved ones. Family members looking for information about their loved ones are encouraged to call: (833) 688-5551.

“I will continue to keep in touch with federal, state, and local emergency responders, including the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigation team.

“Family members needing assistance can also reach out to my office at (805) 379-1779.”