Listen to chilling distress calls from tragic boat fire off Santa Barbara coast

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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Listen to the chilling distress calls from the tragic boat fire near Santa Cruz Island.

OXNARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Officials said Tuesday 34 people are presumed dead after a boat packed with scuba divers caught fire near an island off the coast of Santa Barbara. They have called off search efforts for survivors.

Many of the 39 people aboard the 75-foot Conception were thought to be sleeping below deck when the fire broke out about 3:14 a.m. Monday.

It sank in 64 feet of water as firefighters were battling the blaze. Only five people were rescued.

RELATED: Presumed death toll reaches 34 as search suspended for survivors of boat fire near Santa Cruz Island

Here is the dramatic mayday call from the Conception.

Coast Guard: "What is your position and number of persons on board Over."

Vessel: "Twenty-nine. Twenty-nine POB. I can't breathe!"

From this point, only the Coast Guard broadcasts can be heard, not the responses.

Coast Guard: "Your vessel is on fire is that correct?"

Coast Guard: "Roger, that is 33 people onboard the vessel that's on fire that can't get off?"

Coast Guard: "Roger, are they locked inside the boat?"

Coast Guard: "Can you get back onboard and unlock the boat? Unlock the doors so they can get off?"

Coast Guard: "Roger, you don't have any firefighter gear there, no fire extinguishers or anything?"

Coast Guard:"Roger, is this the captain of the Conception?"

Coast Guard: "Was that all the crew that jumped off?"

Coast Guard: "Roger, and there's no escape hatch for any of the people on board?"