California dive boat owners don’t want to pay victims’ families: court papers


The owners of the dive boat that caught fire off the coast of Southern California, killing 34 people aboard, say they shouldn’t have to pay a dime to the victims’ families, according to a new report.

Glen and Dana Fritzler have cited an obscure maritime law from 1851, the Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability Act, in arguing that they shouldn’t financially be on the hook for the tragedy, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The couple, who own the 75-foot vessel named Conception through their company Truth Aquatics Inc., filed court papers in California federal court on Thursday — as authorities struggle to positively identify the bodies recovered from the early morning blaze just days earlier.

The boat, which had 33 passengers and six crew members on board, burst into flames around 3:15 a.m. Monday. Five crew members managed to escape — but one member and all of the passengers who were asleep below deck were trapped by the blaze and couldn’t make it out.

All but one body has been recovered.

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