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Thread: 34 people died in a liveaboard dive boat fire off California

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    34 people died in a liveaboard dive boat fire off California

    More than 30 people are feared to have died in a boat fire near Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California, local officials say. At least five people were rescued but only few details were immediately available.

    The incident happened just before 3:30 a.m. on Monday when the 75-foot dive boat ?Conception? caught fire while anchored off the northern side of Santa Cruz Island. At least 39 people were on board, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

    The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but photos released by officials showed the boat was fully engulfed in flames. The vessel, which can carry up to 110 people, was owned by Truth Aquatics in Santa Barbara, according to the company?s website.

    The Ventura County Fire Department said 34 people were missing and feared to have died, a figure which was confirmed by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The U.S. Coast Guard said five people, believed to be crew members, were rescued, including one with minor injuries.

    The identities of those on board were not immediately known.

    https://bnonews.com/index.php/2019/0...NV5lhf6ZVwusnc



    https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/cal...ire/index.html

    https://www.truthaquatics.com/conception/

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...alifornia.html

    https://www.facebook.com/truthaquatics/
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    Moderator Jumaki15's Avatar
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    How the fuck did the fire get so had to the point that no one could jump into the water? And the only survivors so far are crew members, which seems a bit off. Also, is diving at 3:30 am a common thing?

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    How the fuck did the fire get so had to the point that no one could jump into the water? And the only survivors so far are crew members, which seems a bit off. Also, is diving at 3:30 am a common thing?
    It was a 5 days thing. Crew sleeping in a cabin on deck, passengers below deck.

    https://asudoit.com/product/southern...ds-scuba-trip/

    SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS SCUBA TRIP
    August 30th-September 3rd, 2019 $1255 ? SOLD OUT

    The VISION is the Queen of the Channel Island Live-Aboard Dive Boats. She is spacious and comfortable, her crew caters to your every desire. The dive deck is well thought out and entry to and egress from your dives is a cakewalk. This is the standard by which all others are measured. We invite you to join us for some electrifying diving and well deserved R&R. The boat only supplies air-fills. Bring all dive gear. Rental SCUBA gear is available through Adventure Sports or at the dock.

    The Channel Islands are a vast underwater park filled with sweeping canyons with swim throughs and beautiful kelp forests towering overhead. We do a Southern Channel Islands SCUBA trip over Labor Day weekend for 5 days every year. Join us and visit unspoiled Southern California diving!

    Prices listed are per person and includes:

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Snacks, fruit and candy
    Coffee, tea and soda
    Diving with unlimited air
    Sleeping bunk
    $100 Supplement charge for single occupancy in double bunk on Labor Day Vision trip, when space is available.
    Fun, baby!
    Things not included in price are:

    Parking at Santa Barbara Harbor ($3/day with validation:)
    Beer and Alcohol
    You can bring your own in a cooler with ice, there is no ice available for coolers on the boat.
    We like to have fun and be happy, so every night at 5pm we will gather for a Happy Hour which will be communally provided!
    Nitrox ($6/fill)
    Gear ? you will need to bring your own gear; of course, if you need anything, let us know and we?ll hook you up!
    Call us! 831.458.doit (3648)

    This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

    Planning Your Trip
    Adventure Sports hopes your experience on the VISION will be full of fun, smiles, and amazing dive experiences, as Channel Islands SCUBA diving is some of the best in the world. In order to help you better prepare for your multi-day stay on a live aboard boat, we have created this page for first time goers to get a better feel of what to expect and how to better plan and pack for this live aboard experience. There will also be a comprehensive email sent out to trip-goers before departure to ensure everyone has everything they need. There will then be a two-part quiz with a 2000 word essay?.. Jokes:)



    https://asudoit.com/wp-content/uploa...ision-2017.pdf
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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    How the fuck did the fire get so had to the point that no one could jump into the water? And the only survivors so far are crew members, which seems a bit off. Also, is diving at 3:30 am a common thing?
    Yeah, it's a liveaboard, as Puzz's post expounds on. They are very common in the diving community. Also, night diving is a thing, because certain creatures are nocturnal, so if you want to see them you dive at night. I have a certification for it and have done it, but it's not my thing at all. Some people love night diving though. The big rays off Hawaii that come out and feed at night would be kind of cool to see.

    https://rushkult.com/eng/scubamagazi...ing-not-scary/

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    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ca...t9q?li=BBnbfcL

    Coast Guard officials said eight people are dead and at least 26 are missing after a 75-foot commercial diving boat erupted in flames near the shoreline of Santa Cruz Island early Monday.

    Many aboard the vessel Conception were thought to be sleeping below deck when the fire broke out in the predawn hours. Authorities continued their search Monday for possible survivors, as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s coroner office prepared for a mass casualty incident.
    Authorities identified four of the victims as two men and two women and said they will need to be identified through DNA. Four additional victims were found on the ocean floor and dive teams were working to recover those bodies, as well as any others that might be inside the now sunken boat, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

    Five crew members were already awake and jumped off the boat, which was 20 yards off shore of the north side of Santa Cruz Island near the Ventura County coast, Rochester said. One crew member remains unaccounted for.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Thirty-four people, including a Stockton nurse and several family members, are presumed dead in the California dive boat fire and the search has been suspended.

    Santa Barbara County Bill Brown said Tuesday that the bodies of 20 victims have been recovered and divers have seen between and four and six others in the sunken wreckage, which must be stabilized.

    Brown says the recovered remains include 11 females and nine males and DNA will be used to identify them.

    Thirty-nine people including six crew members were aboard the vessel Conception when it caught fire early Monday morning while anchored off Santa Cruz Island.

    The St. Joseph?s Medical Center in Stockton confirmed to FOX40 on Tuesday that one current and two former staff members were aboard the Conception.

    We were extremely saddened to learn the tragic news that one of our nurses, Evan Quitasol, was on board the Conception. Two former long-term staff members, Michael Quitasol (Evan?s father) and Fernisa Sison, were also on board. We held a prayer gathering in our Chapel this morning to offer comfort and support to our hospital family. Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those on board the Conception. Out of immense respect for the family?s privacy, we do not have any other words to share at this time.

    Susan Solano Rosas, Evan Quitasol?s mother, posted Tuesday morning on Facebook that three of her daughters were on the boat.

    It is with a broken heart ? 3 of our daughters were on this boat. As of now they are still missing. My #1, Evanmichel Solano Quitasol, my #3,NicoleStorm Quitasol and my #4, Angela Rose Quitasol. My girls? dad Michel Storm Quitasol and step mom were also on the boat. We are getting the latest information from the media. The authorities do not have much to say to us. Thank you to all of you for your support prayers and good wishes.

    Five crew members jumped in the ocean and were rescued.

    https://fox40.com/2019/09/03/34-pres...rch-suspended/

    https://www.facebook.com/nicoleee143
    https://www.facebook.com/michael.quitasol.7
    https://www.facebook.com/angela.quitasol
    https://www.facebook.com/fernisa.sison
    Last edited by puzzld; 09-03-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    SANTA CRUZ ? Students from a Santa Cruz high school were reportedly aboard the boat that caught fire and sank early Monday off the coast of Southern California.

    Nine people from the dive-boat Conception remained missing Tuesday morning, while 25 passengers were confirmed dead, authorities said.
    ADVERTISING

    KGO-TV, this news organization?s media partner, reported a Pacific Collegiate School official confirmed Tuesday that multiple students were on the boat, and said grief counselors were on the campus today.

    A woman who answered the phone at Pacific Collegiate School on Tuesday morning said she was not authorized to release any information, saying, ?Right now our priority is to support students and staff.?

    School officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The public charter school for grades 7 through 12 often ranks among the top high schools in California.

    At least one other person with ties to Santa Cruz was among the 39 people aboard the boat.

    Diving instructor Kristy Finstad was helping to lead the weekend diving trip off the Channel Islands, according to a Facebook post by her brother, Brett Harmeling. Finstad is the co-owner of Santa Cruz-based diving company Worldwide Diving Adventures, which chartered the boat.

    Reached by phone late Monday afternoon, Harmeling said he still hadn?t heard any information about his sister from officials, more than 12 hours after officials said the boat caught fire. Harmeling didn?t want to comment further.


    Five of the crew members jumped off the dive boat and were evacuated by people on board a nearby pleasure vessel, The Grape Escape, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Two of the crew members had minor injuries, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.
    https://www.dailynews.com/2019/09/03...n-deadly-fire/

    Kristy Finstad https://www.facebook.com/kristina.finstad

    https://www.facebook.com/bharmeling?...on=friends_tab (Brother's fB)

    https://www.dailynews.com/2019/09/03...ara-boat-fire/
    VENTURA COUNTY COAST — The co-owner of a Santa Cruz-based diving company is missing after a boat she was on caught fire and sank early Monday off the coast of Southern California, killing at least four people and leaving many others missing.

    Kristy Finstad — a diving instructor and marine biologist who runs Worldwide Diving Adventures out of Santa Cruz with her husband Dan Chua — was on the Conception, a 75-foot commercial diving vessel, helping to lead a weekend diving trip off the Channel Islands, according to a Facebook post by her brother, Brett Harmeling.

    Reached by phone late Monday afternoon, Harmeling said he still hadn’t heard any information about his sister from officials, more than 12 hours after officials said the boat caught fire.

    Harmeling didn’t want to comment further.

    There were 39 people believed to be on board the boat, with 30 still considered missing as of Monday afternoon, authorities said.

    Five crew members jumped off the boat and were evacuated by people on board a nearby boat, Grape Escape, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Two of the crew members had minor injuries, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the bodies of four people have been recovered, but so far could only be identified as two men and two women.

    “Rescue and recovery efforts on the scene have located an additional four victims on the ocean floor, in close proximity to the vessel,” Brown added during a news conference Monday afternoon.

    He said dive teams were working to recover those bodies, but he wasn’t sure when that would be complete, as the sunken boat is “unstable.”

    Worldwide Diving Adventures was chartering the Conception for the Labor Day weekend diving trip, which was advertised on the website as a chance for divers to see colorful sea life up close near the Channel Islands, off the coast of Ventura County in Southern California.

    The boat is owned by Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics, and departed from Santa Barbara harbor on the morning of Aug. 31, and was scheduled to return from the trip Monday, Brown said.

    According to the company’s website and Facebook page, the company was founded in 1972 by Bill Finstad, and was handed off to Kristy Finstad when Bill retired.


    Kristy’s husband Dan Chua also runs the business, but according a comment from Harmeling on his Facebook post, Chua is leading another dive trip off of Costa Rica when the fire happened in Southern California.
    Last edited by puzzld; 09-04-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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    Santa Barbara, California (CNN)Thirty-nine avid divers, families and crew members on board the Conception were resting after a day of diving and gourmet meals when flames engulfed the vessel in the predawn hours of Labor Day.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/03/us/ca...ard/index.html
    The majority of the passengers had come from several towns in the San Francisco Bay area to dive among colorful underwater sea life for three days, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
    Only five people -- all crew members -- were found alive and the bodies of 20 people have been recovered off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. The search for survivors has been suspended after crews searched on the sea for close than 24 hours.
    While the identities of those on board of the Conception have not been released by authorities, here's what we know about a few of them:

    Kristy Finstad
    A marine biologist who grew up swimming off the state's Channel Islands and the owner of a Santa Cruz-based diving company was on board the Conception, her brother said.
    Kristy Finstad was leading a dive trip on the vessel, Brett Harmeling wrote in a Facebook post.
    Finstad is the owner of Worldwide Diving Adventures, a local company that chartered the Conception dive boat from Truth Aquatics, business records show.

    She had "thousands of dives under her belt" and studied marine life in the Tahitian Islands, Costa Rica and Australia, according to her company's website.
    "My mission is to inspire appreciation for our underwater world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the service of helping people invest in experiences of a lifetime," she said in her biography.
    Finstad and her husband had also sailed across the South Pacific "to find new and amazing places" for their clients.
    "Thank You ALL for your unconditional love and support during this incredibly tragic time. My family and I truly appreciate it. No final word on my sister Kristy; however, it is likely she has transitioned to be with the good Lord," Harmeling wrote Tuesday on Facebook.

    Mike Kohls
    Kohls was the galley cook and deckhand on the Conception, his brother says.
    The lifelong surfer and father of a daughter was typically making breakfast for the passengers on the ship around 4 am, James Kohls told reporters Monday as he waited for news of his brother.

    Allie Kurtz
    Allie Kurtz felt most at home diving in the ocean, her mother said.
    Cherie McDonough flew to California from Cincinnati, Ohio, after she heard about the fire on the Conception diving boat. Her 25-year-old daughter was a passenger on the ship, she said.
    Kurtz worked for Paramount Pictures for several years but "wanted to follow her dreams of the ocean, the sea, diving," her mother told reporters at a memorial at Santa Barbara Harbor.
    "She was a go-getter," her mother said. "She loved it here, and she loved the boat. She loved diving,"

    Patricia Beitzinger and Neal Baltz were identified by Phoenix, Arizona station KNXV as a couple presumed dead after taking part in the Labor Day weekend diving expedition.

    "They went to heaven doing something they loved together," John Baltz, Neal's father, told the TV station.

    KTLA's Marissa Wenzke contributed to this report.

    https://ktla.com/2019/09/03/diving-c...a-cruz-island/
    Fremont Unified School District spokesman Ken Blackstone said Tuesday that Scott Chan taught at American High in Fremont and was well-liked.

    The district originally said his wife was with him but later said they learned she was not on board. Blackstone says Chan was with one of his children, but he was unsure if it was his son or daughter.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-di...135300990.html

    Scott Chan and his daughter, Kendra Chan
    https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/asse...xlarge-169.jpg
    High school physics teacher Raymond "Scott" Chan and his daughter were on board the Conception, Fremont Unified School District spokesman Brian Killgore said.
    Killgore did not name Chan's daughter, but in a Facebook post, US Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, identified her as Kendra.
    Kendra Chan was a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, CNN affiliate KRON reported.
    Scott Chan had been teaching two AP physics classes within the district for the past three years, the district's statement said.
    "Mr. Chan was a beloved teacher at AHS among students and colleagues," the school district said in a statement. "His students knew him to be an innovative and inspiring teacher who developed a passion for physics among his students."
    "His loss is a tremendous tragedy for our school district."
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/03/us/ca...ard/index.html
    Last edited by puzzld; 09-04-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/04/cali...l-missing.html

    Apple says an engineer, his wife, daughter and another Apple employee were on board the scuba diving boat consumed by fire off the coast of Southern California on Labor Day.

    Deirdre O?Brien, a senior vice president at Apple, said Wednesday in a statement that Steve Salika, his wife, Diana Adamic, daughter, Tia Salika, and Apple colleague Dan Garcia went on the trip. O?Brien told the Mercury News that they were celebrating Tia?s 17th birthday.
    Last edited by puzzld; 09-04-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/03/us/ca...ard/index.html

    Charles McIlvain
    Charles "Chuck" McIlvain died in the boat fire, according to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which identified him as the husband of one of its photographers.
    On a Facebook post, the organization offers condolences to his wife, Jasmine.
    "Sea Shepherd is one big family, and when one of our own suffers from a tragic loss, each and every one of us agonizes along with them," the post reads.

    Marybeth Guiney
    Marybeth Guiney is among those presumed dead in the fire, according to the Facebook page of the Malibu Divers company, which offers diving certification training and equipment, among other services.
    The post also asks readers to remember McIlvain.
    "All of us are devastated by the Conception dive boat tragedy," the post reads. "We'd like to honor Charles McIlvain and Marybeth Guiney by asking you to tell a story about a dive adventure ... you had with them."

    Lisa Fiedler
    Lisa Fiedler, a 52-year-old hairdresser, photographer and avid diver from Mill Valley, California, is believed to have died in the fire, her mother Nancy told CNN affiliate KGO.
    "Everybody loved her," Nancy Fiedler told KGO. "She was a kind, gentle person. She was a naturalist, she loved nature." https://www.facebook.com/lisa.fiedler.14
    Last edited by puzzld; 09-04-2019 at 12:39 PM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    The dozens of people who perished as flames engulfed a dive boat off the Southern California coast came from many walks of life. They included two high schoolers, a hairdresser, a marine biologist, software engineers, a special effects designer for Disney, a nature photographer, a nurse and a family of five celebrating a birthday.

    Their common love of scuba diving brought them to the ruggedly beautiful coastline of the Channel Islands for a three-day excursion. Thirty-four people died when the Conception caught fire before dawn on Labor Day as it anchored off Santa Cruz Island.


    Flames above deck blocked the one stairway and an emergency exit hatch leading from sleeping bunks to the upper decks and gave those below virtually no chance of getting out, authorities said.


    Only one person remained missing on Wednesday. Divers pulled 33 bodies from the seabed and the charred wreckage of the sunken, overturned boat.

    Five crew members, including the captain, were above deck and managed to escape.

    The only crew member to die was Allie Kurtz, 26, who quit her corporate job at Paramount Pictures to work on dive boats. Kurtz, who grew up in Illinois, had recently been promoted to deckhand.

    "Her love was just always, always the water," Kurtz's grandmother, Doris Lapporte, 71, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "She would joke, 'I am going to be a pirate one day.'"

    The captain, the boat's owner and others were interviewed for hours as the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the fire, NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said Tuesday.

    Four crew members were given tests for alcohol, which were negative, and all five survivors had drug tests but the results are pending, Homendy said.

    The Conception wasn't required by federal regulation to have fire sprinklers aboard, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Those killed included Apple engineer Steve Salika and his wife, Diana Adamic, who went on the trip with their daughter Tia Salika to celebrate the teen's 17th birthday, company senior vice president Deirdre O'Brien told The Mercury News newspaper. Apple colleague Dan Garcia joined them.

    Tia was with Berenic Felipe, a fellow student at Pacific Collegiate Charter School in Santa Cruz, according to a letter sent to the school community obtained by NBC News.

    Also aboard was visual effects designer Charles McIlvain, who was known for his work on films such as "Spider-Man" and "Green Lantern."

    Lisa Fiedler was a 52-year-old hairdresser and photographer from the community of Mill Valley north of San Francisco, her mother, Nancy Fiedler, told San Francisco's ABC affiliate, KGO television.

    San Francisco-based Education platform Brilliant confirmed that senior software engineer Carrie McLaughlin and Kristian Takvam, vice president of engineering, were aboard.
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/us/artic...l-14415101.php
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    Moderator Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    It was a 5 days thing. Crew sleeping in a cabin on deck, passengers below deck.

    https://asudoit.com/product/southern...ds-scuba-trip/

    SOUTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS SCUBA TRIP
    August 30th-September 3rd, 2019 $1255 ? SOLD OUT

    The VISION is the Queen of the Channel Island Live-Aboard Dive Boats. She is spacious and comfortable, her crew caters to your every desire. The dive deck is well thought out and entry to and egress from your dives is a cakewalk. This is the standard by which all others are measured. We invite you to join us for some electrifying diving and well deserved R&R. The boat only supplies air-fills. Bring all dive gear. Rental SCUBA gear is available through Adventure Sports or at the dock.

    The Channel Islands are a vast underwater park filled with sweeping canyons with swim throughs and beautiful kelp forests towering overhead. We do a Southern Channel Islands SCUBA trip over Labor Day weekend for 5 days every year. Join us and visit unspoiled Southern California diving!

    Prices listed are per person and includes:

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Snacks, fruit and candy
    Coffee, tea and soda
    Diving with unlimited air
    Sleeping bunk
    $100 Supplement charge for single occupancy in double bunk on Labor Day Vision trip, when space is available.
    Fun, baby!
    Things not included in price are:

    Parking at Santa Barbara Harbor ($3/day with validation:)
    Beer and Alcohol
    You can bring your own in a cooler with ice, there is no ice available for coolers on the boat.
    We like to have fun and be happy, so every night at 5pm we will gather for a Happy Hour which will be communally provided!
    Nitrox ($6/fill)
    Gear ? you will need to bring your own gear; of course, if you need anything, let us know and we?ll hook you up!
    Call us! 831.458.doit (3648)

    This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

    Planning Your Trip
    Adventure Sports hopes your experience on the VISION will be full of fun, smiles, and amazing dive experiences, as Channel Islands SCUBA diving is some of the best in the world. In order to help you better prepare for your multi-day stay on a live aboard boat, we have created this page for first time goers to get a better feel of what to expect and how to better plan and pack for this live aboard experience. There will also be a comprehensive email sent out to trip-goers before departure to ensure everyone has everything they need. There will then be a two-part quiz with a 2000 word essay?.. Jokes:)



    https://asudoit.com/wp-content/uploa...ision-2017.pdf
    Ohh, I got ya. My bad. I have zero diving knowledge due to hating the ocean.

  13. #13
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    A couple new to Sacramento are among the victims in Monday's boat fire off the Southern California coast.

    Andrew Fritz
    , 40, and his wife, Adrian Dahood-Fritz, 40, had moved to California from Texas in April when Adrian got a new job with the state, said Josh Baker, a longtime friend of Andrew.


    Andrew Fritz was an avid outdoorsman, photographer, diver and chief technology officer for a company in Texas.

    "He was brilliant. Never stopped learning, always seeking. Had just a ton of energy," said Baker, who grew up with Andrew in Seguin, Texas.

    Adrian Dahood-Fritz was a marine biologist who traveled to Antarctica for her work.

    "He was smart and she was smarter," Baker said.

    "They weren't right for anybody else in the world, but they were right for each other," Baker added.

    The couple is among 34 victims who were aboard the Conception when it caught fire off Santa Cruz Island.
    -


    Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement about the couple.

    "We are saddened to learn that Adrian Dahood-Fritz, who worked for the Ocean Protection Council under the California Natural Resources Agency since April as a senior environmental scientist, and her husband Andrew Fritz, were aboard the boat and are presumed dead," Newsom wrote. "Adrian led the state's efforts to manage California's network of marine protected areas, and she cared deeply about the ocean and biodiversity. She embodied marine conservation and was a highly accomplished and respected scientific researcher. Adrian's passion and energy will be greatly missed."
    https://www.kcra.com/article/couple-...-fire/28928872
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  14. #14
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Sep. 5, 2019
    Authorities have not suggested the fire and fatalities were the result of any criminal wrongdoing, but prosecutors from the U.S. attorney?s office in Los Angeles were at the scene on Thursday preparing to assist investigators and keep tabs on the unfolding inquiry.

    A federal law dubbed ?seaman?s manslaughter? was used last year in Missouri by federal prosecutors to charge a duck boat captain and two others in connection with the loss of 17 lives when the amphibious craft capsized in a storm. In that case, it was the Coast Guard investigators who built the case for criminal negligence. The captain is accused of failing to assess the weather, steer the vessel appropriately and prepare the passengers for abandoning ship.

    The intensifying investigation comes as more details emerged on what it was like to be aboard the Conception when the fire broke out. The sources stressed the investigation was still in its early stages and could take months to complete.

    Jennifer Homendy, who is overseeing the National Transportation Safety Board?s investigation, said the surviving crew members have told authorities the fire was too intense to save any of the passengers trapped below.

    ?What?s emerging from the interviews is a harrowing story of the last few minutes before the boat was engulfed in flames,? she said. ?They felt that they had done what they could do in a very panicked situation.?

    All 33 passengers, who had signed up for a three-day scuba diving trip aboard the boat, and a member of the crew sleeping below deck died in the fire.

    Homendy said at least one crew member was awakened and left his bunk and, at some point, jumped over the side with his other crew members to try to rescue passengers.

    Boat fire
    Boat fire off Santa Cruz Island, seen at dawn Monday(Boat fire off Santa Cruz Island)
    ?The galley area was engulfed in flames,? Homendy said, recounting what the crew member told investigators. ?They tried to enter through the double doors but couldn?t get in because of the flames. They tried to access the galley from the front through the windows, but the windows wouldn?t open.?

    At some point because of the heat, smoke and fire, they had jumped from the boat. One of the crew members jumped from the boat and broke his leg. Two of the crew members swam back to get the skiff, got the skiff and picked up the crew to take them to a good Samaritan vessel.

    They contacted authorities and ?returned to the vessel to find survivors,? Homendy said.

    The crew member who initially heard the noise got up to look over the side. He looked down and flames were coming up.

    He tried to use the ladder, ?but the ladder was engulfed in flames,? Homendy said. ?They just couldn?t get in.?

    The escape hatch and the entrance were blocked by flames.


    ?He heard no smoke alarm, he smelled no smoke, but he did see flames when he looked over,? she said. ?They didn?t hear anything.?

    She described the smoke alarm on the vessel as one that can be bought at Home Depot. She said the Vision ? a boat she toured Wednesday that is very similar to the Conception ? also had one smoke alarm, but it is not wired to a centralized system with alarms. Those were the types of alarms that were required when the boats were built, she said.

    Though slightly larger than the Conception, the Vision has a similar layout. Single and double bunks are stacked two and three high in the boat?s sleeping quarters below deck. A wooden staircase leads from the sleeping area up to the galley.

    Authorities say the exit on the Conception ? along with an escape hatch that opens up near the dive deck on the boat ? was blocked by fire .

    Both boats are owned by Truth Aquatics, which operates the fleet for diving and other excursions around the Channel Islands. The U.S. Coast Guard has said the Conception had passed all recent inspections.

    The NTSB has questions on the wiring and electrical systems, she said. There was a lot of photography equipment and extra batteries on board charging.

    ?Did that provide the ignition source? But we?re not closing in on that,? she said. ?We?re not ruling out anything at this point.?

    The agency is still reviewing records. Older boats had different fire standards compared with newer vessels, she said.

    The boat was not at full capacity and could accommodate more passengers, Homendy said. The agency is looking at whether ?there needs to be new safety standards to make sure this does not happen again.?

    ?I definitely have concerns about the ability of those passengers being able to evacuate during a fire,? she said.

    Homendy said she was ?taken aback? by the size of the emergency hatch when she toured the Vision on Wednesday with a team of investigators.

    She and the investigators turned the lights off to see what it would have been like for the passengers trapped on the Conception. Getting to the emergency hatch was difficult , she said, adding that they couldn?t find the light switches in the dark.

    ?You have to climb up a ladder and across the top bunk and then push a wooden door up,? she said. ?It was a tight space. We couldn?t turn the light on.?

    ?It surprised me how small it was and how difficult it was to access,? she said about the escape hatch. ?I couldn?t see the people in front of me.?
    https://www.latimes.com/california/s...ers-passengers
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  15. #15
    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...4-die-n1050691

    The owners of the dive boat where 34 people perished in a fire off Southern California filed a lawsuit Thursday to head off potentially costly litigation, a move condemned by some observers as disrespectful to the families of the dead.

    Truth Aquatics Inc., which owned the Conception, filed the action in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under a pre-Civil War provision of maritime law that allows it to limit its liability.

    Investigators are still searching for what caused the blaze that wrecked the boat, which remains upside down at the bottom of the sea near the Channel Islands.

    The time-tested legal maneuver has been successfully employed by owners of the Titanic and countless other crafts — some as small as Jet Skis — and was widely anticipated by maritime law experts. Still, the fact it was filed just three days after the deadly inferno Monday came as a surprise to legal observers.

    Families of the deceased, who are not named in the complaint, will be served with notice that they have a limited time to challenge the company's effort to clear itself of negligence or limit its liability to the value of the remains of the boat, which is a total loss.

    "They're forcing these people to bring their claims and bring them now," said attorney Charles Naylor, who represents victims in maritime law cases. "They have six months to do this. They could let these people bury their kids. This is shocking."

    Professor Martin J. Davies, the maritime law director at Tulane University, said the cases always follow accidents at sea and always look bad, but they are usually initiated by insurance companies to limit losses.

    "It seems like a pretty heartless thing to do, but that's what always happens. They're just protecting their position," Davies said. "It produces very unpleasant results in dramatic cases like this one. ... The optics are awful."

    The U.S. law dates to 1851, but it has its origins in 18th century England, Davies said. It was designed to encourage the shipping business. Every country with a shipping industry has something similar on the books.

    In order to prevail, the company and owners Glen and Dana Fritzler have to show they were not at fault in the disaster.

    They asserted in the lawsuit that they "used reasonable care to make the Conception seaworthy, and she was, at all relevant times, tight, staunch, and strong, fully and properly manned, equipped and supplied and in all respects seaworthy and fit for the service in which she was engaged."

    Even if the captain or crew are found at fault, the Fritzler's and their insurance company could avoid paying a dime under the law, experts said.

  16. #16
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    https://news.yahoo.com/veteran-water...173840906.html
    VETERAN WATER POLO COACH

    Before Justin Dignam, 58, founded a payroll company he coached water polo at universities.

    Dignam was a veteran water polo player who played at University of Richmond before coaching a team at Iona College and becoming the head coach of Wesleyan University's men's team, according to Team USA Water Polo. He also served as a referee.

    Big Fish Employer Services President Jeff Hill called Dignam a "fearless" CEO in a letter posted to the company's website. Hill said he was heartbroken but promised to carry on in leading the company to honor what Dignam started when he founded it in 2003 in Placentia, California.

    Dignam is from Anaheim Hills, California, and is survived by a wife and two children.

    He continued to play water polo in the masters community and showed true passion for the sport, said Greg Mescall, communications director for USA Water Polo.

    Dignam "would spot you across a room and as he headed your way, you would just see a big smile forming on his face," Mescall said in an email. "He'll be missed by many, me included."

    TENNESSEE DOCTOR

    Ted Strom, 62, was a staff physician at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    He was also an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and taught hematopathology and transfusion medicine to medical students and residents, according to his profile on LinkedIn.

    "His exceptional service to Veterans as a staff physician is a testament to the type person that he was," the hospital said in a statement. "He will certainly be missed."

    Strom, who lived in Germantown, Tennessee, received his medical degree and doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, according to the profile.

    CONNECTICUT COUPLE

    Sanjeeri Deopujari, a dentist, and Kaustubh Nirmal, a strategic business technologist, lived in Stamford, Connecticut.

    Nirmal's cousin, Rajul Sharma, told the Los Angeles Times that the married couple were soul mates.

    "God took them away from us untimely and unfairly, but even he didn't have the heart to separate them in death," he told the newspaper.

    Nirmal had a master's degree in management information systems from New York University and worked for Ernst & Young, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    The couple had a dog named Bebe, and loved her "to the moon and back," said neighbor Marlene Springer.

    Apple colleague Dan Garcia, 46, with his girlfriend Yulia Krashennaya, 40.

    Krashennaya was a product manager at Spiralinks where she did contracting work for Cisco Global Event Marketing, Richard Stehn, a company spokesperson told The Mercury News.

    The couple, who lived in Berkeley, were avid divers and underwater photographers who went on trips around the world, the paper reported.

    For the birthday trip, Tia Salika brought along her 16-year-old friend Berenice Felipe from her school, Pacific Collegiate Charter School, a high-performing institution serving grades seven to 12 in Santa Cruz, according to a letter sent to the school community obtained by NBC News.

    The girls volunteered together at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, as did Adamic, who was "was an ally to all living things ? orphan kittens, wild birds, youth volunteers ? and a champion for the natural world around us," Jen Walker, a former humane educator at the animal shelter posted on the shelter's Facebook page.

    Walker called Tia "an amazing young woman, filled with shy grace and the purest enthusiasm." She said she helped foster kittens, among other things, and her friend Berenice "was a model of gentle support for the animals and children she worked with at the shelter."


    'WATER PRINCESS'

    Vaidehi Williams lived in Northern California and was passionate about water conservation.

    She worked for the Soquel Creek Water District and was raising her two children with her husband, Sarma Williams, according to a GoFundMe page set up to assist the family.

    "Vaidehi has touched so many people from so many walks of life," the site said. "She had a way of bringing people together and seized every opportunity to live life to its fullest."

    Williams gave presentations about water conservation in schools, drove the district's educational trailer and wore a water droplet costume at the county fair and an Earth Day event, the district said in a statement.

    She worked for the district for 18 years, most recently as communication specialist, and helped start its geographic information system platform, the statement said.

    "She brought joy to work every day and was a dear friend to all of us," the district said. "She will forever be our 'Water Princess.'"

    SINGAPOREAN CITIZENS

    Wei Tan, a 26-year-old from Goleta, California, was among those identified Friday by authorities.

    Tan, who was from Singapore, studied chemical engineering at University of Michigan and industrial engineering and operations research at University of California, Berkeley.

    "It hurts, it will always hurt, but we will move on," her older sister Cheerin Tan posted on Facebook.

    Earlier this year, Tan started working as a data scientist for Evidation Health, according to her social media pages.

    Christine Lemke, Evidation's president, said the news was heartbreaking.

    "Her smile lit up the world and she'll be sorely missed," she said in a statement.

    Maribel Leonio, executive officer at Singapore's consulate in San Francisco, said another Singaporean citizen, Sunil Singh Sandhu, was also on the list of passengers.

    His father, Sojit Singh, told The New Paper in Singapore his mind went blank when he heard the news.

    "I thought this was a hoax," he said. "My whole life is gone."

    Singh said his son was a health buff who took up scuba diving about two months ago.

    In a LinkedIn profile, Sandhu said he worked as a silicon photonics senior scientist at Pointcloud Inc in Northern California.

    He obtained a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2011.

    He later worked as a post-doctoral fellow researching the interaction between matter and light, the profile said.

    He also studied Japanese, Chinese and Russian and previously served a year in Singapore's armed forces as an infantry officer, the profile said.

    ENGINEERING FRIENDS

    Carrie McLaughlin and Kristian Takvam had successful careers at the education platform Brilliant in San Francisco.

    McLaughlin, 35, was a senior software engineer, and Takvam was Brilliant's vice president of engineering.

    The loss of the two friends was heartbreaking for their colleagues in Northern California.

    "Carrie and Kristian were incredible friends and colleagues who brought immense passion, talent, leadership, and warmth, and they will be missed dearly," Brilliant chief executive Sue Khim said in a statement.

    McLaughlin, who lived in Oakland, grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2005, according to her Facebook page. She was also a watercolor artist.

    'THEY WENT TO HEAVEN DOING SOMETHING TOGETHER THAT THEY BOTH LOVED'

    Neal Baltz and Patricia Beitzinger loved the outdoors and adventure, according to Baltz's family.

    The couple, who lived in in Ahwatukee Foothills in southern Phoenix, traveled the world together, taking scuba diving trips in Micronesia and the Caribbean, among other places.

    "They went to heaven doing something together that they both loved," Neal's father, John Baltz, told ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

    Baltz worked as an engineer for a semiconductor company and studied electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    He also loved making wine and enrolled in an enology program at a northern Arizona community college to learn more, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Baltz was an upbeat, friendly student who went through life with joy, said Michael Pierce, the director of enology and viticulture at the Southwest Wine Center.

    "He loved so many things," Pierce told the paper. "He loved the ocean, he loved his dogs, he loved Patricia. We are a small community. It's a huge loss for us."

    A VISUAL EFFECTS DESIGNER AND CLOSE FRIEND LIVING LIFE TO FULLEST

    Visual effects designer Charles McIlvain, 44, and his close friend and neighbor Marybeth Guiney lived life to the fullest, according to his wife, Jasmine Lord, in a statement from McIlvain's family.

    McIlvain worked on "Spider-Man" and "Green Lantern" among other films.

    "His laugh was the greatest and his smile could light up the dark," the family said in a statement. "He embraced life with exceptional joy, openness and humor, and all who knew him felt that warmth."

    McIlvain worked as a visual effects designer for Walt Disney Imagineering and as a pipeline engineer and technical animation supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He also worked at Netflix .

    "Chuck was a magnetic person who had an incredible ability to connect with people and help them," Netflix said in a statement. "This is devastating news for those who were fortunate to know him, and he will be deeply missed by his friends and co-workers at Netflix."

    "I can't emphasize enough the unique combination of creativity, intelligence and wonderful presence that he had," Fisch said.

    Guiney, 51, was a sales director and ocean enthusiast who advocated for the protection of sharks. From Boston, she formerly worked as a sales executive for the New England Patriots, which said in a statement that the organization was "deeply saddened" over her death.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    Thirty-four people, including a Stockton nurse and several family members, are presumed dead in the California dive boat fire and the search has been suspended.

    Santa Barbara County Bill Brown said Tuesday that the bodies of 20 victims have been recovered and divers have seen between and four and six others in the sunken wreckage, which must be stabilized.

    Brown says the recovered remains include 11 females and nine males and DNA will be used to identify them.

    Thirty-nine people including six crew members were aboard the vessel Conception when it caught fire early Monday morning while anchored off Santa Cruz Island.

    The St. Joseph?s Medical Center in Stockton confirmed to FOX40 on Tuesday that one current and two former staff members were aboard the Conception.

    We were extremely saddened to learn the tragic news that one of our nurses, Evan Quitasol, was on board the Conception. Two former long-term staff members, Michael Quitasol (Evan?s father) and Fernisa Sison, were also on board. We held a prayer gathering in our Chapel this morning to offer comfort and support to our hospital family. Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those on board the Conception. Out of immense respect for the family?s privacy, we do not have any other words to share at this time.

    Susan Solano Rosas, Evan Quitasol?s mother, posted Tuesday morning on Facebook that three of her daughters were on the boat.

    It is with a broken heart ? 3 of our daughters were on this boat. As of now they are still missing. My #1, Evanmichel Solano Quitasol, my #3,NicoleStorm Quitasol and my #4, Angela Rose Quitasol. My girls? dad Michel Storm Quitasol and step mom were also on the boat. We are getting the latest information from the media. The authorities do not have much to say to us. Thank you to all of you for your support prayers and good wishes.

    Five crew members jumped in the ocean and were rescued.

    https://fox40.com/2019/09/03/34-pres...rch-suspended/

    https://www.facebook.com/nicoleee143
    https://www.facebook.com/michael.quitasol.7
    https://www.facebook.com/angela.quitasol
    https://www.facebook.com/fernisa.sison
    That Angela Quitasol seems too old (former teacher of 12 years) relative to the father and sister Nicole.

    I think this is her:
    https://www.facebook.com/angelaroseQ

    Note the picture of some people in scuba diving sweatshirts.

    Carrie McLaughlin:

    https://www.facebook.com/carrie.a.mclaughlin

  18. #18
    Senior Member Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    I have been keeping track of this since it happened. Such a horrible tragedy. I get that the crew were top deck while the rest of the passengers were below deck, but the fact that the only survivors were crew members isn't a good look
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  19. #19
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Babe 73 View Post
    I have been keeping track of this since it happened. Such a horrible tragedy. I get that the crew were top deck while the rest of the passengers were below deck, but the fact that the only survivors were crew members isn't a good look
    That and the fact that the boat owners are filing a lawsuit against the victims families even less so.
    https://www.recordnet.com/news/20190...deadly-inferno

    That Angela Quitasol seems too old (former teacher of 12 years) relative to the father and sister Nicole.

    I think this is her:
    https://www.facebook.com/angelaroseQ

    Note the picture of some people in scuba diving sweatshirts.

    Carrie McLaughlin:

    https://www.facebook.com/carrie.a.mclaughlin
    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  20. #20
    Moderator Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    That and the fact that the boat owners are filing a lawsuit against the victims families even less so.
    https://www.recordnet.com/news/20190...deadly-inferno


    Wow. They are grade a pieces of shit.

  21. #21
    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...ornia-n1053296

    A California scuba dive boat was operating in violation of Coast Guard regulations when crew members were sleeping and a pre-dawn fire killed 34 people, leaving grieving families wondering if a required night watchman could have saved their loved ones.

    Thursday brought a disclosure from the National Transportation Safety Board that all six crew members were asleep aboard the Conception on Sept. 2 when the deadly blaze broke out.

    The NTSB's findings could aid federal authorities conducting a criminal investigation into the fire, who could bring charges under a statute known as seaman's manslaughter. The law was enacted during the 19th century to punish negligent captains, engineers and pilots for deadly steamboat accidents that killed thousands.

    Five crew members, including the captain, were asleep on the vessel's second deck and survived. The sixth, a 26-year-old deckhand named Allie Kurtz , was sleeping below and perished with the boat's 33 passengers.

    The cause of the Sept. 2 blaze has yet to be determined. Crews raised the wreckage of the burned-out boat Thursday from waters off Santa Cruz Island where the vessel was anchored the night of the tragedy. The island is northwest of Los Angeles and about 20 miles from the mainland.

    The Conception's Certificate of Inspection, issued by the Coast Guard, requires a "roving patrol at all times" when passengers' bunks are occupied.

    The parents of Charles McIlvain, a 44-year-old visual effects designer who was onboard with his neighbor, said the missing roving watchman "disturbs us greatly."

    "Early detection may have made an incredible difference in outcome," Clark and Kathleen McIlvain said in a statement.

    Douglas Schwartz, an attorney for the Conception's owner, Truth Aquatics Inc., said in a statement that a crew member was awake shortly before the fire, which started around 3 a.m. He said the crewman checked "on and around the galley area" around 2:30 a.m. The first mayday call from the captain was transmitted at 3:14 a.m.

    He also touted the company's safety record, noting it passed "every single annual Coast Guard inspection for the last 45 years, while hosting 450,000 divers on 1.3 million dives."

    Truth Aquatics Inc. filed a lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court under a pre-Civil War provision of maritime law aimed at limiting its liability.

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