Anaheim Business Owner and Veteran Water Polo Player Dies in California Boat Fire
SANTA BARBARA, CA (September 2, 2019) – An Anaheim business owner was identified in the dive-boat fire that killed 34 people over Labor Day weekend.
Justin Carroll Dignam, 58, was identified by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials during a Friday morning news conference. Dignam was the founder and CEO of Big Fish Employer Services, a payroll company with ties to water polo programs around the country.
According to Team USA Water Polo, Dignam was a veteran water polo player. He played at University of Richmond before coaching at Iona College and Wesleyan University. In addition, he also served as a referee.
He was also active on the athletic playing field, having coached baseball, soccer and basketball in Anaheim Hills and Orange. His hobbies included scuba diving and competing in masters water polo.
Dignam was aboard the vessel, Conception, when it caught fire and sank early Monday morning off the coast of Santa Barbara.
Furthermore, only five crew members were able to escape the fire.
On Wednesday, authorities said they recovered 33 of the 34 bodies presumed to have died in the fire. They have identified some of the victims as: Kristy Finstad, Allie Kurtz, Berenice Felipe, Tia Salika, Steve Salika, Diana Adamic, Evan Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol,Angela Quitasol, Fernisa Sison, Michael Quitasol, Charles McIlvain, Marybeth Guiney, Lisa Fiedler, Mike Kohls, Andrew Fritz, Adrian Dahood-Fritz, Daniel Garcia, Yulia Krashennaya, Vaidehi Campbell, Sunil Singh Sandhu.
Authorities are currently investigating how batteries and electronics were stored and charged. They will also look into how the crew was trained and what crew members were doing at the time. The boat’s design will also come under scrutiny, particularly whether a bunk-room escape hatch was adequate.
We hope the loved ones of Justin Dignam are surrounded by steadfast and comforting support as they grieve for the loss of their loved one during this time.
If you have a family member killed in this boat fire accident, please contact the Sweet Lawyers as soon as possible. We understand the death of a loved one is a devastating experience and can take a toll on your wellbeing, however, we can help you with the legal matters that must be addressed. We will commit our resources and years of experience to bring justice for your loss. Our commitment and dedication are unbreakable and we will work with you during every step of the legal process. Please call out hotline at (800) 674 7852 to speak with one of our attorneys free of charge.