The names of some of the victims of a recent boat fire off the coast of Southern California have been released. There were 33 confirmed men, women, and children who lost their lives (one person is still missing) when the diving boat, Conception, caught fire, trapping almost everyone on board. Among the victims named included two Apple employees, Apple Engineer Steve Salika along with his wife and 17-year-old daughter, and Apple employee Dan Garcia. Apple's senior vice president, Deirdre O'Brien released a statement yesterday.
Steve was a 30-year Apple veteran whose energy and enthusiasm touched so many people across our company throughout his career.
Dan was as passionate about his job at Apple as he was about his love of diving.
Both leave many friends behind and will be deeply missed.
According to the Associated Press, Salika met his wife, Diana Adamic, who perished alongside him on Monday, at Apple. Salika worked for Apple for 30 years.
Their daughter, Tai, was celebrating her 17th birthday and brought along her friend and classmate Berenice Felipe who also did not survive the fire. The two volunteered at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, along with Tia's mom.
Thirty-three people were confirmed to have died on the Conception with one person still counted as missing. The boat's captain and four crewmen survived the fire only because they were above deck when it broke out and were able to dive into the water. The 34 others were sleeping below deck.
It is still unclear at this time how the fire started, but the Conception was in full compliance with regulatory requirements, according to U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester
The flames moved so quickly that both exits to the upper decks were on fire, blocking any escape of those below deck.
The victims of the fire include high school students, a science teacher and his daughter, a family of five celebrating dad's birthday, a marine biologist, and many adventurers. Our hearts go out to those that have lost someone in this tragedy, which took the lives of so many.
The Associated Press keeps an updated report of the names and lives of those who died in the Conception fire, as well as remembrances of them from loved ones and colleagues.