Members of the local diving community gathered Thursday night at the Deep Blue Scuba and Swim Center in Belmont Shore to hold a vigil for the 34 people who died in a boat fire off the coast of Santa Barbara.
“It’s hard to wrap your head around it, so we needed to get together as a community and just honor them and remember them, said Trisha Jones, of San Pedro.
The victims had been on a three-day scuba diving excursion aboard the Conception. Passengers and one crew member were sleeping below deck in tight quarters, when a fire broke out aboard the boat, blocking both exits out of the lower deck.
The only five survivors, the captain and four crew members who were awake on the upper deck, jumped off the the Conception and swam to an inflatable boat at the back and steered it to a ship anchored nearby.
“Considering the magnitude of this tragedy, we felt it was really important to come together as a community and show our love and respect for their families and their loss,” said Jonathan Hall owner of Deep Blue Blue Scuba and Swim Center.
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