These were the passengers and crew members on board the California dive boat
39 avid divers, families and crew members on board the Conception were resting after a day of diving and gourmet meals when flames engulfed the vessel in the predawn hours of Labor Day.
The majority of the passengers had come from several towns in the San Francisco Bay area to dive among colorful underwater sea life for three days, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
Only five people — all crew members — were found alive and the bodies of 20 people have been recovered off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. The search for survivors has been suspended after crews searched on the sea for close than 24 hours.
While the identities of those on board of the Conception have not been released by authorities, here’s what we know about them:
A marine biologist who grew up swimming off the state’s Channel Islands and the owner of a Santa Cruz-based diving company was on board the Conception, her brother said.
Kristy Finstad was leading a dive trip on the vessel, Brett Harmeling wrote in a Facebook post.
Finstad is the owner of Worldwide Diving Adventures, a local company that chartered the Conception dive boat from Truth Aquatics, business records show.
She had “thousands of dives under her belt” and studied marine life in the Tahitian Islands, Costa Rica and Australia, according to her company’s website.
“My mission is to inspire appreciation for our underwater world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the service of helping people invest in experiences of a lifetime,” she said in her biography.
Finstad and her husband had also sailed across the South Pacific “to find new and amazing places” for their clients.
“Thank You ALL for your unconditional love and support during this incredibly tragic time. My family and I truly appreciate it. No final word on my sister Kristy; however, it is likely she has transitioned to be with the good Lord,” Harmeling wrote Tuesday on Facebook.
Kohls was the galley cook and deckhand on the Conception, his brother says.
The lifelong surfer and father of a daughter was typically making breakfast for the passengers on the ship around 4 am, James Kohls told reporters Monday as he waited for news of his brother.