TUESDAY, September 3
Fire has ravaged a packed dive boat off the Southern California coast with authorities fearing a death toll which could reach more than 30.
The 33 divers on the trip were asleep when the blaze began.
Five crew members who jumped off the dive boat were rescued, and the US Coast Guard said they were searching for others who may have been able to escape the same way.
Four bodies have been recovered and rescuers say four other bodies had been seen near the wreck of the boat on the sea bed.
They said DNA would be used to identify the two men and two women, that had been recovered.
The dive boat, Conception, was on a Labor Day weekend cruise taking divers to the Channel Islands and was anchored off Santa Cruz Island when it caught fire.
Ventura County Fire Department responded to the fire at 3:30am local time and fire crews were fighting the flames when the vessel sank 18 metres offshore.
Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester said at a brief news conference at Channel Islands Harbor, off the coast of southern California that the crew was awake and on the bridge and jumped off when the fire broke out. Captain Rochester said the 20-metre vessel was anchored in Platt’s Harbor, off the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, when the fire ignited about 3:00am (local time).
She said the vessel sank in almost 20 metres of water, adding its bow is still visible above the waterline.
The website says the vessel, launched in 1981, had rafts and life jackets for up to 110 passengers and exits on the port, starboard and bow that provided “easy water entry”.
As hurricane Dorian continued to batter the Bahamas, killing at least five people, Florida in the US, braced for the coming onslaught with mandatory evacuations in place in the state’s two biggest cities
The hurricane, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, had been hovering over Grand Bahama Island for 36 hours by early Monday evening (local time) and was expected to stay put until Tuesday morning.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 249 kilometres per hour and moving at 2 kph, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said in an advisory at 11:00am (local time).
It was expected to pound Grand Bahama for much of the day.
Parts of Duval County, home to Jacksonville, one of Florida’s two biggest cities, were under a mandatory evacuation.
Palm Beach County, the state’s third most-populated county and home to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, was among those with partial mandatory evacuations.
The Bahamas Press reported on Twitter that a boy had drowned in the northern Bahamas, the first recorded fatality from Dorian.
At least five people were killed in the Abaco Islands, in the northern Bahamas, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told a news conference.
An estimated 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.
West Palm Beach, the NHC said, adding Dorian would come dangerously close to the state on Monday night (local time) through Wednesday evening.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged coastal residents to heed evacuation orders.
“Get out now while there’s time and while you have fuel available,” he said in a news conference from the state’s emergency operations centre.
As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged.
Remarkable photos from within the eye of Hurricane Dorian offer a glimpse of tranquillity as fears of destruction increase in the United States.
The photo, posted on Twitter by US Air Force Lieutenant Garrett Black, shows perfectly blue sky and sun shining through a perfect ring of white cloud.
Hurricane Hunters — also known as the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, an official branch of the US Air Force Reserve
US presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has coined a controversial new campaign slogan in the wake of the Texas shooting that left seven dead and 22 injured.
O’Rourke tweeted the phrase “this is f***ed up” and then repeated it on CNN after the Texas shooting
While some criticised the poor language, his campaign defended it and began selling t-shirts
After addressing a crowd in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Saturday, the Democratic candidate tweeted: “We don’t know how many have been killed. We don’t know the motivation. But here’s what we do know: This is f***ed up.”
While some responded negatively to his choice of words, Mr O’Rouke doubled down on CNN the day after the shooting.
“We’re averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. No other country comes close, so yes, this is f***ed up,” he said.
“If we don’t call it out for what it is, if we’re not able to speak clearly, if we’re not able to act decisively, then we’ll continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America, and I cannot accept that.”
The recurring phrase has now even launched a line of merchandise, created by Mr O’Rourke’s campaign.
T-shirts featuring “This is f***ed up” and “End gun violence now” are being advertised on Mr O’Rourke’s official website, with all proceeds going to gun
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