Things That Matter

Authorities Have Presumed That The Family Of 5 Celebrating Their Dad’s Birthday Are Dead

We are still learning more about the passengers who were on that commercial diving boat that caught fire earlier this week off of the coast of California. Named Conception, the boat’s mayday signal was picked up by the U.S. Coastguard during Monday’s early morning hours. With authorities believing that there are no more survivors, search and rescue has now become a recovery mission to retrieve the bodies of the 34 unaccounted passengers.

Identification of the Conception’s missing passengers has become priority and is helping us to learn more about those who lost their lives in that tragic accident.

Among the 34 still missing is a family of 5 who were enjoying a yearly diving trip.

Twitter / @latimes

Sisters Evan Michael Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol, and Angela Quitasol were on the Labor Day diving trip with their father and step-mother when the boat burst into flames. The family was celebrating their father Michael Quitasol’s birthday which was on Wednesday after the trip. Michael was an avid diver who tried to plan yearly trips for his favorite hobby.

The tragedy comes after a fourth sister, Evita Olson, celebrated her wedding just this past August.

“The biggest thing for me is that on August 17 my sisters were in my wedding,” Olson told BuzzFeed News. “Angela was my maid of honor. She sang me a song for her maid of honor speech. Everything was so normal then…and now they’re just gone.”

On the same day that the search for survivors was called off by the Coast Guard, the girls’ mother, Susana Rosas, made a post on Facebook confirming their disappearance .

Facebook / @Susana Solano Rosas

Angela Quitasol taught 7th-grade science at Sierra Middle School in the same community she and her sisters grew up.

“For Angela, students were her focus,” a statement from the school district read, acknowledging the teacher’s death. “She shared her passion for science with them and greeted them every day with a high five and a bright smile. We are all deeply saddened by this terrible incident and hold her family, and all those affected, in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”

Evan Quitasol was a nurse who worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, California.

We were extremely saddened to learn the tragic news that one of our nurses, Evan Quitasol, was on board the Conception,” the medical center said in an issued statement. “We held a prayer gathering in our Chapel this morning to offer comfort and support to our hospital family. Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those on board the Conception.”

Nicole Quitasol lived in Coronado and worked at the Nicky Rottens sports bar.

“Nicole was such a smart, loving, energetic and adventurous soul. She will be greatly missed,” shared Nicky Rottens CFO Bryn Butolph. The bar has set up a Go Fund Me that will help the girls’ mother, Susana Rosas, pay for funeral costs for her three daughters.

Father, Michael Quitasol, and step-mother, Fernisa Sison, were said to be a loving couple who doted on their children.

Twitter / @DougJohnsonFX40

Sison’s daughter, Nisa Shinagawa, shared in an interview with KTXL that the couple lived for their kids, oftentimes working several jobs each just to make ends meet. However, now that their children were growing up and getting jobs of their own, the couple was enjoying the opportunity to spend more time together on the things they loved.

“It was a dream of Michael’s to get back into scuba diving,” Shinagawa explained. “When him and my mom got together, they wanted to start doing more things in their lives for themselves…they had lived their lives for us.”

As of now, funeral services for the family of five are still in the works while funds are raised to cover the burial expenses. We hope the families impacted by this tragedy get all the help and support they need during this painful time.

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