SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Crews are working to raise the burned 75-foot diving boat Conception from the bottom of the ocean as investigators announced the remains of 33 victims had been brought to shore, with one victim still to be recovered Wednesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Jennifer Homendy says investigators interviewed the captain of the Conception who was among the five crew members who survived the devastating fire that trapped 34 sleeping divers below deck Monday.
Bob Hansen, the captain of a nearby boat called the Grape Escape that rescued the survivors spoke about seeing the fire.
"They told my wife actually that they were they'd had several birthday parties birthday celebrations onboard one of them happened to be a 17-year-old young lady and her parents they were onboard. We didn't hear anything other than, there was no screaming or anything like that. There was no yelling, all you could hear is the fire itself," said Hansen.
Among the victims were employees from Apple. A company spokesperson confirmed Dan Garcia and Steve Salika were lost in the fire along with Salika's wife Diana Ademic and their daughter Tia.
It was Tia who was celebrating her 17th birthday. Her friend, Bernenice Felipe, 16, had come along and was also killed in the fire.
A family friend Margo Peyton said she'd known the family since Tia was 6-years-old and first learning to dive.
"They were just a wonderful, giving, kind, generous family that enjoyed traveling," said Peyton over the phone, "I'm sure they were really looking to celebrate Tia's 17th birthday and I'm sure knowing Tia, there was nothing else she wanted to do but go scuba diving because that's what she really loved."
Apple released this statement saying "Steve was a 30-year Apple veteran whose energy and enthusiasm touched so many people across our company throughout his career. He met his wife at Apple and was aboard with her and their daughter. Dan was as passionate about his job at Apple as he was about his love of diving. Both leave many friends behind and will be deeply missed."
Another Bay Area victim was Lisa Fiedler, who loved photography and also worked as a hairstylist at Dagaz Salon in Mill Valley.
The San Francisco-based company Brilliant also lost two employees in the diving boat fire.
The company issued a statement about Carrie McLaughlin and Kristian Takvam, saying "Carrie and Kristian were incredible friends and colleagues who brought immense passion, talent, leadership and warmth and they will be missed dearly. "
"I met with the families of the loved ones that were lost for 2 hours. it was important for us, that we provided them with information that they need, to ask all the questions they needed to ask," said Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB Board member at the scene Wednesday.
The NTSB says before crews raise the sunken boat, they are taking images of it inverted on the ocean floor.
"The documentation is occurring with side-scan sonar so that they are actually mapping the wreckage before it is moved," said Homendy, who added that investigators will be reviewing Coast Guard recordings, inspection records, maintenance records and training policies of the company Truth Aquatics which owned the diving vessel.