The California boat skipper was cleared of murder charges.

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A federal judge in Los Angeles rejected a diving boat captain's manslaughter allegation Thursday for a Labor Day 2019 accident that killed 34 people.

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The Conception, a 75-foot diving boat, sank on September 2 while moored near Santa Cruz Island in California's Channel Islands. The diving trip's third and final day arrived.

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Captain Jerry Boylan and four crew members escaped the flaming ship, while 33 passengers and one staff member perished.

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Judge George H. Wu tossed down Boylan's claims because they lacked proof of gross negligence, according to court filings.

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Federal safety experts say a night watchman may have prevented the diving boat fire caused by charging phones and batteries overnight.

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Robert Sumwait, who was serving as the head of the National Transportation Safety Board at the time of the incident,

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"Propensity of lithium ion batteries to overheat" is stated in 2020, and eyewitness accounts support this. The incident's cause is unknown.

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