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## The Victims of the Conception Dive Boat Fire

On September 2, 2019, a horrific tragedy struck off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, California. The Conception, a scuba diving boat, caught fire, killing 34 people.

The victims were a diverse group of people from all walks of life, including experienced divers, novice divers, and crew members. They came from all over the United States, as well as Canada and England.

### The Victims

The victims of the Conception fire included:

– **Crew members:**
– Charles McIlvain, 60, captain
– Patrick Moynihan, 35, first mate
– Justin Dignam, 33, cook

– **Experienced divers:**
– Daniel Garcia, 46
– Dennis Hildebrand, 61
– Jane Reimer, 65
– Kristy Finstad, 40
– Michael Kohls, 46
– Sylvia Kohls, 42
– David Martin, 46
– Raymond Strahl, 69
– Michael Spann, 64
– James Williams, 46
– Jason Henkel, 47
– Johnathan Salcedo, 62
– Nelson Chan, 50
– Adam Lawler, 34

– **Novice divers:**
– Caroline McLaughlin, 49
– Cole Roberts, 23
– Damien Rose, 38
– Devon Ridgell, 31
– Evan Michel, 39
– Karl Kortum, 46
– Paul Martin, 46
– Raymond Scott, 43
– Sylvia Johnson, 43
– Yulia Polishchuk, 38
– Yulia Sakhno, 38

### The Investigation

The investigation into the Conception fire is ongoing, but authorities have determined that the fire started in the boat’s engine room. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown.

The fire spread quickly through the boat, trapping many of the victims below deck. The victims died from smoke inhalation, burns, or both.

### The Aftermath

The Conception fire was the deadliest maritime disaster in California history. It has raised questions about the safety of scuba diving boats and the adequacy of regulations governing them.

In the wake of the tragedy, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made several recommendations to improve the safety of scuba diving boats. These recommendations include:

– Requiring scuba diving boats to have sprinklers and fire alarms
– Providing divers with escape hatches that can be used in an emergency
– Training crew members on how to respond to fires

The NTSB has also recommended that the Coast Guard increase its oversight of scuba diving boats.

The Conception fire has been a devastating tragedy for the families and friends of the victims. It has also raised important questions about the safety of scuba diving boats and the need for better regulations.

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