The estate of one of the passengers who died aboard the dive boat Conception that sank in flames near Santa Barbara is suing the tour company and boat operator in connection with the 2019 fire aboard the vessel.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Truth Aquatics and other parties and stems from the death of 45-year-old Xiang Lin. The Sept. 2, 2019, fire claimed the lives of all 33 passengers, including Lin, and one crew member. The wrongful-death suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles County because some of the defendants live there, the suit states.
Lin was survived by her father, Yin Lin, and mother, Anzhi Chen. A representative for Truth Aquatics could not be immediately reached.
No one had been ordered to patrol the vessel during the night to monitor the boat’s battery charging station or sound the alarm in case of a fire or other emergency, the suit states.
Sometime after 3 a.m., a crew member heard a pop from the salon and galley area, and a fire quickly flared throughout the vessel, the suit states. He had seen sparks when he plugged his cell phone into a charging station in the same compartment earlier, according to the suit.
The Conception was on a Labor Day weekend scuba diving expedition near an island off Santa Barbara. The fire broke out while passengers were sleeping and quickly swept through the vessel.
Lin was a native of Beijing. After attending Tsinghua University, she moved to the United States to earn a master’s degree in computer science at Brown University that led to engineer and program manager roles at major companies such as Apple and Microsoft.
Before her death, Lin was researching artificial intelligence as a partner at Acorn Summit Ventures, a private equity and venture capital firm in the Bay Area.
Lin was also a nature lover who enjoyed hiking Mission Peak in Fremont, California, as well as spending time wind surfing and scuba diving.