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More than three years after 34 people were killed in California’s worst maritime disaster in modern history, the captain of the Conception dive boat faces a new federal indictment as a legal battle over his culpability rages on.
Jerry Nehl Boylan, 68, of Santa Barbara was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on a charge of misconduct or neglect of a ship officer, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California. He is accused of “a series of failures and the abandoning of his ship, which constituted ‘misconduct, gross negligence, and inattention to his duties,’” prosecutors said.
The new court filing reinstates the charge against Boylan a month after a federal judge dismissed a previous indictment because prosecutors used “negligence” instead of “gross negligence” in their presentation to the grand jury.
Boylan was the captain of the Conception, which caught fire and sank near Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 2, 2019, killing 33 passengers and one crew member who were trapped below deck.