Captain of the Conception plead not guilty to 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter on Feb. 16.
SANTA BARBARA一On Feb. 16 Jerry Boylan, captain of the Conception, a dive boat based out of Santa Barbara, plead not guilty to 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter.
The Conception caught fire on Sept. 2, 2019, during a Labor Day weekend diving trip off of Santa Cruz Island killing 33 passengers and one crew member.
The federal grand jury indicted Boylan on Dec. 1, 2020; the jury alleged that as captain, Boylan “was responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, its crew, and its passengers.” said a Dec. 1 news release from the Department of Justice.
Boylan was alleged to be in violation of three safety regulations under the Code of Federal Regulations, rules, and regulations published in the Federal Register by departments and agencies of the federal government.
Boylan is alleged to have caused the death of 34 people for failing to have a night watch or roving patrol; failing to conduct fire drills, and failing to conduct sufficient crew training. All required under the CFR.
The maximum charge for each count of seamen’s manslaughter is 10 years in federal prison. The charge can also carry a fine.
Boylan was arraigned on Feb. 16 and added a not-guilty plea to the charges. He was released on a $250,000 bond and his trial is set to begin on March 30, 2021, before United States District Judge George H. Wu who joined the court in 2007.
Boylan is being represented by Georgina Wakefield and Gabriela Rivera of the Federal Public Defenders Office who were unavailable for comment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark A.Williams, Joseph O. Johns, and Diana Kwok of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is not doing interviews on the case and was unable to give a statement because the case is still pending, according to Thom Mzorek, director of media relations for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Central California.