LOS ANGELES — Frank Pineda raced to Santa Barbara Harbor on Monday morning, anxious to get news about his friend Monte Rook.
Rook, a Goleta, Calif., resident, had planned go scuba diving on the Conception over Labor Day weekend, Pineda said.
“He was excited about the trip,” said Pineda.
Rook is an avid diver who’d recently traveled to Africa for a dive, his friend said.
Pineda awoke to news of a fire on the Conception, with 30 people missing.
Pineda called an employee who worked for Rook, hoping to find out if his friend was safe, but couldn’t get any information.
“Nobody knows nothing yet,” Pineda said.
Frantic friends and family members aboard the Labor Day Weekend charter raced to the harbor Monday trying to find out if there were survivors.
At the Coast Guard headquarters in Oxnard, James Kohl wait to learn the fate of his brother, Mike, a cook on the Conception.
Many aboard the boat were believed to be sleeping below deck when the fire broke out in the pre-dawn hours. The Coast Guard said there were at least four fatalities as of late Monday morning.
Five crew members were already awake and jumped off the boat, which was 20 yards offshore on the north side of Santa Cruz Island, according to U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester.
The Coast Guard said there was still hope there could be other survivors, though there was no word of any survivors beyond the crew members.
Congresswoman Julia Brownley, who arrived at the harbor along with family members seeking answers, said: “Devastating. Tragic. And we’re hoping there could still be some survivors.”
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