Authorities have recovered bodies belonging to 33 of the 34 people who went missing during the horrific diving boat fire that occurred off the coast of California on Labor Day. One person remains missing, officials said. In an interview with Record Net, Stockton resident Julissa Garcia said she believes five of the victims are members of the Quitasol family. Garcia said her cousins, Evanmichel Solano Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol, and Angela Rose, had gone on the diving trip with their father, Michael Quitasol, a retired Stagg High School teacher, and stepmother, Fernisa Sison, to celebrate Michael’s 64th birthday. Record Net reported that a fourth sister did not make the trip because she could not get time off from work.
Michael Quitasol was a registered nurse, and his wife worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The family were passionate divers. “I’m just devastated,” Garcia said. “I’m in disbelief. I’m at a loss for words. I don’t truly fully understand it, yet.” Investigators believe the fire blocked both of the escape exits from where the passengers were sleeping below deck.