The U.S. Coast Guard reported the discovery of 25 bodies of the victims of the voracious fire, which consumed the ship the Conception anchored about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles on Aug. 2.
There were 39 people on the ship, most of whom were sleeping below deck and apparently could not escape because of the speed with which the fire spread. Only five managed to escape in a lifeboat, the BBC reported.
The bodies of five people were located, but have not yet been recovered, while nine more are still missing.
The authorities received the call for help at 3:30 a.m., but when they arrived the boat was completely wrapped in flames so they could not board it, or perform other maneuvers to extinguish the flames.
The rescue team arrived around 5:00 a.m. and included a Coast Guard helicopter and a firefighter boat that inspected the water and the coast, and then returned to the ship that was already sinking, according to Fox News.
“We’re still in active search right now,” Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll, of the U.S. Coast Guard, told Fox & Friends.
The five people who escaped sailed to the Grape Escape, owned by Bob Hansen, which was anchored about 300 feet from the burned ship.
The ship the Conception sank 59 feet off the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, and stopped at a depth of 65 feet.
It was part of the fleet operated by the Truth Aquatics diving company, with a rating of 4.5 on Trip Advisor. The vessel was used for rented trips in the Channel Islands National Park, according to the BBC.