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Seven people from Bay Area among 22 boat fire victims identified

Authorities in Santa Barbara on Friday released the names of 22 people who died in the Conception dive boat fire over Labor Day weekend, including seven from the Bay Area.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said 23 of the total 34 victims had been identified. However, one victim’s name was not released on Friday pending notification of family.

Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the fire that engulfed the dive boat “Conception” and presumably claimed the lives of 34 people on board Monday, September 2, 2019. Many passengers were from Northern California and the Bay Area.

The 22 names that Brown released Friday include Bay Area residents Raymond “Scott” Chan, 59, of Los Altos; Daniel Garcia, 46, of Berkeley; Yulia Krashennaya, 40, of Berkeley; Caroline McLaughlin, 35, of Oakland; Carol Diana Adamic, 60, of Santa Cruz; Steven Salika, 55, of Santa Cruz and Tia Salika-Adamic, 17, of Santa Cruz.

Chan, who was a physics teacher at American High School in Fremont, and his daughter Kendra have previously been named as victims in the tragic boat fire.

In addition, the city of Santa Cruz has identified Kristina Finstad, a former city employee, as another victim with ties to the Bay Area. Divers with the Sheriff’s office, the FBI and the National Parks Service are still searching for the remains of the last victim, with 33 remains accounted for.

The Santa Barbara sheriff told reporters Friday that many of the passengers aboard the Conception likely died of smoke inhalation during the fire.

During the Friday morning news conference, Brown said:

“Our pathologist is convinced without having to conduct autopsies these victims were victims of smoke inhalation.” 

“That is going to likely be the primary cause of death.”

He said further information regarding causes of death will be released pending toxicology test results.

Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office A fire that erupted on the Conception dive boat in the early morning hours of Monday, September 2, 2019 near Santa Barabara, Calif. killed at least 33 people, with one victim who has yet to be located. Of the 22 people identified Saturday, September 7, 2019, seven were from the Bay Area.

A total of 39 passengers, including five crewmembers that were the only survivors, were aboard the boat when the blaze started. A vigil for the victims was held at Friday evening at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara.

In addition to the Bay Area victims, the sheriff released the names of 18 others on Friday after making contact with their families: Justin Carroll Dignam 58, of Anaheim; Marybeth Guiney, 51, of Santa Monica; Alexandra Kurtz, 26, of Santa Barbara; Ted Strom, 62, of Germantown, Tennessee; Wei Tan, 26, of Goleta; Kendra Chan, 26, of Oxnard; Angela Rose Quitasol, 28, of Stockton; Evan Michel Quitasol, 37, of Stockton; Nicole Storm Quitasol, 31, of Imperial Beach; Michael Quitasol, 62, of Stockton; Andrew Fritz, 40, of Sacramento; Charles McIlvain, 44, of Santa Monica; Neal Gustav Baltz, 42, of Phoenix; Patricia Ann Beitzinger, 48, of Chandler, Arizona; and Vaidehi Campbell, 41, of Felton.

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