Community holds vigil for victims of CA boat fire, as investigation deepens

SANTA BARBARA, CA — An emotional week in Santa Barbara, California was capped off with this vigil over the weekend.

Hundreds gathered at Chase Palm Park to remember the lives of 34 people who were killed on Labor Day, after a dive boat caught fire off the coast of Santa Cruz Island in southern California.

Among those who attended were the victims’ families, shedding tears in front of the stage lined with scuba tanks.

“We share the week together as a community s our family so many has joined us from outside California and all the tremendous support that has been [present from our first responders second responders third responders rally from the whole community,” said Suzanne Grimmesey.

Throughout this tragedy, the city and county have continued to give counseling services and has given a space for the community to heal together.

One place that has brought people together is this makeshift memorial that has grown since lat Monday.

As the identities of the victims have been confirmed, more personalized messages and pictures can be seen among the flowers, cards, and candles.

These hearts and signs were left for Filipino American Michael Quitasol and his family.

Michael, his three daughters, Nicole, Angela and Evan and wife Fern were all aboard the ill-fated trip.

Like most of the victims, they were not from Santa Barbara, but the locals have continued to show their support.

“You just hope in your heart even if we didn’t know these people, they came to Santa Barbara doing something they loved so the support it’s heartwarming, we just wanna come out here and see, it brings you a little closer to them.”

Meanwhile, authorities have yet to determine the cause of the fire — but for now, have served search warrants for Truth Aquatic, the southern California company that owned the dive boat.

Dive teams are also hoping to get back in the water on Tuesday to continue to search for one more body that has yet to be recovered.

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