At Least 20 People Dead After California Boat Fire

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At Least 20 People Dead After California Boat Fire

Thirty-nine people -- 33 passengers and six crew members -- were on board the Conception when it caught fire Monday off California's Santa Cruz Island.

(CNN) -- Thirty-three people signed up to spend what promised to be a glorious Labor Day weekend aboard the Conception, a 75-foot boat that offered a scuba diver's dream: unlimited diving among colorful underwater sea life, with gourmet meals served between dives.

But on the last part of the three-day trip, the ship caught fire Monday off California's Santa Cruz Island.

At least 20 people died, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

"This is probably the worst-case scenario you can possibly have," Brown said. "You have a vessel that's on the open sea, that is in the middle of the night. I mean, it's 3:30 in the morning."

Of the 39 people on board -- 33 passengers and six crew -- only five people have been found alive. The five survivors are all crew members.

A day after the inferno, about 14 people are still missing, Brown said.

Many of the passengers were below deck, most likely sound asleep when the fire broke out, authorities said.

None of the people who were on board have been identified.

(Photo by Santa Barbara FD.)

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