Galley Cook and Deckhand of Doomed Conception Identified as One of 34 Victims
SANTA BARBARA, CA (September 2, 2019) – Mike Kohls was one of the 34 deceased victims in a diving boat fire off Santa Cruz Island, on Labor Day.
Kohls was a galley cook and a deckhand for the Conception. In addition, he was also a lifelong surfer and father of a daughter.
Based on reports, the fire broke out just after 3:00 a.m. However, the events leading up are currently unclear.
Furthermore, the 75-foot vessel was carrying 33 passengers and 6 crew members on a three-day scuba diving trip at the time. It was scheduled to return to Santa Barbara Harbor later that day.
The captain and four crew members escaped using a dinghy to paddle to a nearby boat. However, the remaining occupants were asleep in the lower deck and were likely blocked in due to the flames.
Authorities later identified the other victims as: Neal Baltz, Patricia Beitzinger, Allie Kurtz, Scott Chan, Kendra Chan, Berenice Felipe, Tia Salika, Steve Salika, Diana Adamic, Evan Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol, Angela Quitasol, Fernisa Sison, Michael Quitasol, Charles McIlvain, Marybeth Guiney, Lisa Fiedler, Justin Dignam Andrew Fritz, Adrian Dahood-Fritz, Daniel Garcia, Yulia Krashennaya, Vaidehi Campbell and Sunil Singh Sandhu.
Surviving crew members were later tested for alcohol and drug consumption. However, one member could not be tested as they needed immediate medical treatment. That crew member was, however, later tested for drugs.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the surviving crew members would eventually be interviewed during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, authorities will probe the cause of the fire.
We would like to send our sincere sympathies to the grieving loved ones of Mike Kohls during this tragic time.
If you have a loved one involved in this tragic boat fire accident, please contact the Sweet Lawyers for immediate assistance. Our passionate wrongful death attorneys will fight by your side until you receive the justice your loved one deserves. We have the skills, knowledge, and experience to ensure that you receive a maximum settlement for your loss. We understand the suffering you are bearing and will do our best to make things as easy for you as possible. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 674 7852.