In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown announced that all 34 victims of the Conception dive boat disaster have been identified.
Sheriff Brown says it was important to share the relief unified command felt when they were able to locate and recover the final missing victim.
“No one has been left behind,” said Brown.
Divers from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife found the 34th body in a cove Wednesday.
“She was recovered in an area that is very close proximity to where other victims were recovered. It’s in close proximity, three-tenths of a mile, no more than where the boat sank,” said Brown.
The use of rapid DNA technology was used to identify 33 of the victims and the last victim from the Conception was ID’d by fingerprints.
“The belief of our pathologist is that she also died of smoke inhalation prior to getting burned she most likely just as everyone else got into the water on the boat flipped upside down,” said Brown.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, “It is with a heavy heart that I share the names of those lost with you”.
Carol Diana Adamic, 60, Santa Cruz Juha Pekka Ahopelto , 50, Sunnyvale Neal Gustav Baltz , 42, Phoenix, Arizona Patricia Ann Beitzinger , 48, Chandler Arizona Vaidehi Campbell, 41, Felton Raymond ” Scott ” Chan, 59, Los Altos Kendra Chan, 26, Oxnard Adrian Dahood-Fritz , 40, Sacramento Justin Carroll Dignam , 58, Anaheim Berenice Felipe, 16, Santa Cruz Lisa Fiedler, 52, Mill Valley Kristina ” Kristy ” Finstad , 41, Santa Cruz Andrew Fritz, 40, Sacramento Daniel Garcia, 46, Berkeley, CA Marybeth Guiney , 51, Santa Monica Yuko Hatano , 39, San Jose Yulia Krashennaya , 40, Berkeley Alexandra Kurtz, 26, Santa Barbara Xiang Lin, 45, Fremont Caroline McLaughlin, 35, Oakland Charles McIlvain , 44, Santa Monica Kaustubh Nirmal , 33, Stamford, Connecticut Sanjeeri DeoPujari ( Nirmal ), 31, Stamford, Connecticut Angela Rose Quitasol , 28, Stockton Evan Michel Quitasol , 37, Stockton Nicole Storm Quitasol , 31, Imperial Beach Michael Quitasol , 62, Stockton Steven Salika , 55, Santa Cruz Tia Salika-Adamic , 17, Santa Cruz Sumil Sandhu , 45, Half Moon Bay Fernisa Sison , 57, Stockton Ted Strom , 62, Germantown, Tennessee Kristian Takvam , 34, San Francisco Wei Tan, 26, Goleta
The Sheriff says the location of the boat and the recovery and rescue operation has made for a challenging case all around.
“The fact that there were so many casualties and so many innocent people that lost their lives, it has been emotionally charged as well as physically difficult for the people that have been involved,” said Brown.
Crews were able to salvage the burned-out hull of the Conception and raise it to the surface Thursday.
Brown says it will be transported to “an undisclosed secure location for further investigation.”
Once the salvage operation is complete the NTSB will take custody of the boat from the Coast Guard.
As of 10:00 p.m. Thursday, our sources tell us that the wreckage is on the move and en route to Port Hueneme.