The growing memorial at the Sea Landing in the Santa Barbara Harbor for the victims of the Conception boat fire. (September 4, 2019)

The Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identities of five additional Conception fire victims — bringing the count to 27 out of 34 — and continued the search for the last remaining victim this morning.

Lt. Erik Raney, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said the Coroner’s Office is using rapid DNA technology to identify the victims whose remains are burned beyond recognition from the September 2 catastrophic dive boat fire.

The additional victims are: 

Adrian Dahood-Fritz, 40, F, Sacramento, CA
Lisa Fiedler, 52, F, Mill Valley, CA
Kristina “Kristy” Finstad, 41, F, Tamrick Pines, CA
Fernisa Sison, 57, F, Stockton, CA
Kristian Takvam, 34, M, San Francisco, CA

Raney said that DNA samples from the families of the remaining six victims (not including the victim whose remains are still missing) will be used to match the DNA profiles of those victims still under the Coroner’s Office care. He expects their identities to be released by the end of the week. The identities of the 22 previously identified victims can be found here. 

There is still one set of remains lost at sea. The search-and-recovery efforts were put on hold Friday due to strong winds and strong currents off of Santa Cruz Island where the Conception remains underwater, but they were resumed early this morning, Raney said. Divers from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and National Parks Service are searching now.

Salvage operations to recover what is left of the Conception were also put on hold for weather reasons on Friday but are expected to continue tomorrow morning. The Coast Guard is leading the charge but is coordinating with the National Parks Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response to diminish environmental dangers.


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