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Search suspended for victims of deadly California dive boat fire

The search for victims of a fatal Labor Day boat fire has been suspended. 

Officials told CNN of the suspension and the news network reported Tuesday that the bodies of 11 women and nine men had been recovered.

United States Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester told the outlet that had been halted because no additional people were seen entering the water and an aircraft that flew above the incident did not detect new signs of debris or distress. 

“It is never an easy decision to suspend search efforts,” Rochester said. “We know that this is a very difficult time for families and friends of the victims.”

Authorities have reportedly said that several people died died when the commercial diving vessel called “Conception,” which was carrying 39 people, caught fire during a three-day recreational scuba diving trip early Monday. 

Five crew members who had been rescued Monday were the only known survivors, according to multiple reports. Victims were believed to be sleeping when the incident occurred. 

The Associated Press reported that crew members who survived had given officials written statements about the incident. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told the AP that 33 passengers and one crew member were presumed dead and that the investigation is ongoing. 

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