Connect with us

Published

on

A scuba dive boat captain has been jailed for four years for criminal negligence over a fire that killed 34 people.

Captain Jerry Boylan was also sentenced to three years supervised release by a federal judge in Los Angeles, California.

The blaze on the vessel named Conception in September 2019 was the deadliest maritime disaster in recent American history.

Boylan was found guilty of one count of misconduct or neglect of ship officer last year.

Defendant, Conception's captain Jerry Boylan, right, arrives in federal court in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Federal prosecutors are seeking justice for 34 people killed in a fire aboard a scuba dive boat called the Conception in 2019. The trial against Boylan began Tuesday with jury selection. Boylan has pleaded not guilty to one count of misconduct or neglect of ship officer. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Image:
Captain Jerry Boylan. Pic: AP

The charge is a pre-Civil War statute, known colloquially as seaman’s manslaughter, and was designed to hold steamboat captains and crew responsible for maritime disasters.

In a sentencing memo, lawyers for Boylan – who is appealing – wrote: “While the loss of life here is staggering, there can be no dispute that Mr Boylan did not intend for anyone to die.

“Indeed, Mr Boylan lives with significant grief, remorse, and trauma as a result of the deaths of his passengers and crew.”

The Conception was anchored off Santa Cruz Island, 25 miles south of Santa Barbara, when it caught fire before dawn on the final day of a three-day voyage, sinking less than 30 metres from the shore.

Thirty-three passengers and a crew member died, trapped below deck.

Read more from Sky News:
Tourists, including 11 Britons, hurt in minibus crash
First wild animal seen using medicinal plant to treat wound

The victims included an environmental scientist, a Singaporean data scientist and a family of three sisters, their father and his wife.

Boylan jumped overboard, and four crew members who followed suit also survived.

FILE - The burned hull of the dive boat Conception is brought to the surface by a salvage team off Santa Cruz Island, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2019. A federal jury on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, found scuba dive boat captain Jerry Boylan was criminally negligent in the deaths of 34 people killed in a fire aboard the vessel in 2019, the deadliest maritime disaster in recent U.S. history. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via AP, File)
Image:
The burned hull of the dive boat. Pic: AP

Boylan initially faced 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter, meaning he could have faced a total of 340 years behind bars.

His lawyers argued the deaths were the result of a single incident and not separate crimes, so prosecutors instead charged Boylan with only one count.

While the criminal case has concluded, there are several ongoing lawsuits.

Continue Reading

US

Oregon: Woman crushed by grand piano shows ‘amazing spirit’ after being told she will never walk again

Published

on

By

Oregon: Woman crushed by grand piano shows 'amazing spirit' after being told she will never walk again

A woman has been left unable to walk after a piano slipped and dropped on her while she was helping a friend move the instrument.

Danielle Drummond, 28, who had recently relocated from Cleveland, Ohio, to Oregon for a fresh start, is now hoping for a scientific breakthrough after the ordeal left her needing both a wheelchair and a carer.

She told Cleveland-based broadcaster 19 News she had tried to stabilise the piano when offering to help last month, but her friend lost her grip.

“She dropped like a whole upright grand piano on me, and it severed my spinal cord,” Ms Drummond said.

“Now, I’m paralysed from the waist down.”

Ms Drummond has no family in Eugene, the city in Oregon where she lives, and also needs to find a permanent home, having been living in a van with her dog, Lotus.

Danielle Drummond. Pic: GoFundMe
Image:
Danielle Drummond. Pic: GoFundMe

Compounding her problems, she does not know how she would begin to move back to her family in Cleveland and transfer all her belongings and medical equipment.

Her sister has set up a fundraising page to “support future medical needs”, with the aim of raising $10,000 (£7,850).

“Our family thanks you for all your support, consideration, thoughts, love and prayers,” her sister Rosie Hayne wrote, describing Ms Drummond as “strong”, “wise”, and “down to earth”.

In an update on the GoFundMe page, Ms Hayne added: “She wants to make it clear that she is not expecting to ever walk again.

“She has accepted the reality of her situation. But she has an amazing spirit and an overall positive outlook, focusing on what she can do.”

Ms Drummond told 19 News she hopes people going through similar circumstances “don’t give up”.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Read more:
Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough fights auction of Graceland
‘Roof ninja’ woman found living inside shop sign said it was ‘old safe spot’

Meanwhile, her wish remains for a new development in treatment.

“It definitely is a game change for me,” she said. “I try to stay hopeful.”

Continue Reading

US

Iowa town flattened as tornadoes cause fatalities and devastation in US Midwest

Published

on

By

Iowa town flattened as tornadoes cause fatalities and devastation in US Midwest

An unknown number of people have died after a powerful tornado ripped through a small town in Iowa.

Dramatic pictures showed the destruction left behind in Greenfield, with police confirming there had been fatalities and at least a dozen injuries, without being able to provide specific figures.

The devastation came as multiple tornadoes rolled through the US Midwest.

At least three 250-foot-high wind turbines were toppled by an apparent tornado in southwest Iowa.

One turbine was in flames, with black smoke pouring from the bent structure.

Officials said most of Greenfield, with a population of about 2,000 people, had been destroyed, with rescue efforts continuing in an attempt to find survivors.

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
A trail of destruction was left behind in Greenfield. Pic: AP

Damage is seen after a tornado moved through Greenfield, Iowa, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Hannah Fingerhut)
Image:
Pic: AP

A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

Pic: AP
A damaged car sits on a street after a tornado Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

Buildings, including homes and businesses, were flattened, trees shredded, and vehicles thrown down the streets which were left strewn with piles of debris.

Sgt Alex Dinkla, a spokesperson for the Iowa State Patrol, said: “This tornado has devastated a good portion of this town.

“Sadly, we can confirm that there have been fatalities. We’re still counting at this time.”

Pic: AP
The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
The extreme conditions in Iowa brought down wind turbines. Pic: AP

The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

Pic: AP
The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

He said Greenfield’s hospital was among the buildings that were damaged, which meant at least a dozen people who were hurt had to be taken to facilities elsewhere.

Residents helped each other salvage their belongings as they tried to come to terms with what had happened.

Pic: AP
A firefighter walks among homes destroyed by a tornado Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged property, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image:
Pic: AP

Read more on Sky News:
Extreme weather gripping different parts of the world
Four killed as severe thunderstorms sweep across Texas

Rogue Paxton said he sheltered in the basement of his home when the storm moved through.

He told WOI-TV he thought his family was lucky not to lose their house.

“But everyone else is not so much, like my brother Cody, his house just got wiped,” he said.

“Then you see all these people out here helping each other.

“Everything’s going to be fine because we have each other, but it’s just going to be really, really rough. It is a mess.”

The storms followed days of extreme weather which has ravaged much of the middle section of the US.

Strong winds, large hail and tornadoes swept across parts of Oklahoma and Kansas late Sunday, damaging homes and injuring two people.

Continue Reading

US

Ex-model accuses Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexually assaulting her at his studio in 2003

Published

on

By

Ex-model accuses Sean 'Diddy' Combs of sexually assaulting her at his studio in 2003

A former model has accused Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually assaulting her at his New York City recording studio in 2003 in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Crystal McKinney’s allegations are just the latest in a series of accusations made against the rapper and producer.

McKinney says she was a successful 22-year-old model when she met Combs at a restaurant during Men’s Fashion Week in Manhattan.

The music mogul invited her to his recording studio later that night, according to the federal complaint filed in New York City.

The lawsuit states McKinney arrived and found Combs drinking and smoking cannabis with several other men.

She smoked some marijuana, which she “later came to understand” was laced with another narcotic or intoxicating substance, the lawsuit claims.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘Diddy’ apologises after assault video

McKinney says she felt as though she was floating, then Combs led her to the bathroom, where he sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit.

More on Sean Combs

Combs then led her back to the studio where she lost consciousness, later waking in a taxi where she realised what had happened.

Combs is yet to respond to these latest allegations.

Read more on Sky News:
Johansson ‘angered’ after voice allegedly recreated on ChatGPT
Dublin/New York portal ‘reawakens’ with new rules
Backlash after Kansas City Chiefs star’s ‘homemaker’ speech

The lawsuit comes just days after CNN aired security video that showed Combs attacking singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in 2016.

Cassie, an R&B singer whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, was his protege and girlfriend at the time.

On Sunday, the 54-year-old, released a video saying he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable”.

He is not in danger of being criminally prosecuted for the beating because of the statute of limitations.

Combs, whose homes in Los Angeles and Miami were raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents in March, has faced a series of public allegations of physical and sexual violence as well as sex trafficking.

A lawsuit filed by Cassie in November alleging beatings and abuse was settled a day after it was filed.

The claim on Tuesday was filed under a New York City law that allows accusers to file civil litigation during a limited window, even if the events allegedly happened long ago.

Continue Reading

Trending