Four days after the tragic dive boat fire that left 34 people dead, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office released the names of nine victims.
Authorities said Friday they had identified 18 victims and contacted the next of kin for nine of them. They released the names of those nine:
Raymond Scott Chan, 59, of Los Altos
Justin Carroll Dignum, 58, of Anaheim
Daniel Garcia, 46, of Berkeley
Marybeth Guiney, 51, of Santa Monica
Yulia Krashennaya, 40, of Berkeley
Alexandra Kurtz, 25, of Santa Barbara
Ted Strong, 62, of Germantown, Tennessee
Wei Tan, 26, of Goleta
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Friday that identifications require DNA analysis because of the fire’s intensity.
Brown told reporters that the families of all 34 victims have been contacted to collect DNA samples.
The FBI helped with that effort across the U.S. and internationally. Brown said one relative was a mother in Japan, another was in Singapore and another flew in from India.
Salvage operations have begun on the boat that burned and sunk off Santa Cruz Island, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has joined the investigation.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said Truth Aquatics, the owner of the nearly 80-foot boat, contracted Global Diving and Salvage to conduct the salvage operation under Coast Guard oversight.
Once the vessel is raised, it will be transferred to a crane barge and escorted by law enforcement to a secure location.
Environmental concerns will be mitigated in coordination with various agencies.