Jerry Boylan, the captain of the Conception dive boat on which 34 people died during a fire in 2019, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to seaman’s manslaughter charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 67-year-old Santa Barbara resident entered the plea during a brief court appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles. Some relatives of those who died watch the court proceedings over video.
Mr. Boylan has been allowed to remain free since a 34-count indictment against him was revealed in November.
He was ordered by the magistrate judge to post a $250,000 bond on Tuesday as part of the terms of his release.
All 33 divers on board the Conception died after becoming trapped in the boat’s bunk room when the fire broke out. A crew member in the bunk room also died.
Federal prosecutors allege the failure of Mr. Boylan to follow safety rules led to the tragedy on Sept. 2, 2019 off the coast of Santa Cruz Island.
— Gerry Fall