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Conception memorial moved to Breakwater, permanent memorial planned

Lost at Sea Memorial
Kacey Drescher/KEYT Photo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Since the Conception tragedy, people have gathered at Santa Barbara Harbor’s Sea Landing to grieve at an unofficial memorial. 

The Conception boat fire impacted the Santa Barbara community in a profound way, as evident by the sea of flowers, candles, dive tanks and sentiments at Sea Landing.

Officials felt like there was too much traffic at Sea Landing and they wanted to give loved ones a quiet place to be at peace with their thoughts and reflect. 

The Lost at Sea Memorial was constructed in 2005, to honor all lives lost at sea. Now, officials hope to add to it and honor the Conception victims. 

“I think it’s nice to be able to remember somebody in a quiet setting on your own terms. Sea Landing is a rather busy place, it’s a beehive of activity,” said Karl Treiberg, Acting Waterfront Director. 

Karl Treiberg’s close friend lost his son in the Labor Day maritime disaster.

“I was able to reach out to them and get feedback directly from them and they helped me put together a plan to best commemorate the loved ones lost,” said Treiberg. 

The Acting Waterfront Director worked with the County Department of Behavioral Wellness and wrote letters to the victim’s families, asking if they could move the collection of mementos to the Lost at Sea memorial at the end of the Breakwater.

“I think when some of the families from the Conception tragedy came out here they realized that this was a more suitable location to come and reflect and remember their loved ones,” said Treiberg. 

Treiberg and his team even re-created the railing at Sea Landing. Now there are plans for a permanent Conception memorial on a cluster of boulders near the dolphin statue. 

“There’s one of them that’s really well-suited to put a nice plaque on it we could have all them, where we could have all the names of the individuals lost in the tragedy and a lot of the family members seem to really like that idea and wanna advance that,” said Treiberg. 

A sign marks the location change at the Santa Barbara Harbor, but like a piece of artwork still on display, the message remains the same. Know that you are loved.

“It’s a perfect setting to be at peace with your thoughts and think about your loved ones in the most respectful way you can,” said Treiberg. 

Treiberg has hired Santa Barbara Monumental to come up with some conceptual designs and hopes to have the project completed soon. 

Article Topic Follows: Community
lost at sea memorial
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Kacey Drescher


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