Remembering some of the victims of the boat fire off the Santa Barbara coast

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Flowers are fixed to the railing at Truth Aquatics as a search continues for those missing in a pre-dawn fire that sank a commercial diving boat off a Southern California island near Santa Barbara, California, U.S., September 2, 2019. Photo credit: Kyle Grillot/Reuters

Following Monday's diving boat fire off the Santa Barbara coast, the bodies of 33 of the 34 presumed dead have been recovered. Authorities haven’t released information about the victims, but some of their friends and family members have taken to social media to mourn their loss.

Two of the victims lived in the same condo complex in Santa Monica. Neighbors Marybeth Guiney and Charles McIlvain went diving together often, along with McIlvain’s wife.

Marybeth Guiney, a sales representative and ocean wildlife enthusiast who was in her early 50s, is remembered by her good friend Katie Spicer

"She was an amazing human being, and had so much life. And it's gonna be hard realizing I can't just pick up the phone, and call her, and say let's go grab a bite to eat or drink,” says Spicer. “It's not real yet to me. And talking about her in the past tense feels wrong."  

Spicer says Guiney loved the water, was heavily involved with ocean life and conservation, and frequently went on diving trips worldwide.

Spicer says Guiney lived life to the fullest -- probably more than anyone else she had met. 

"I texted her, and I know I'm never gonna hear from her again. It doesn't feel real. It's so foreign to me right now," Spicer says. 

Charles McIlvain, a 34-year-old visual effects designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, is remembered by his family friend Joan Bryant

Bryant knew Charles McIlvain since he was a kid growing up in Woodland Hills.  

"Even at parties and events where I would see him at his mother's home… wherever he was sitting, that's where you wanted to be around him, to hear his stories and his regaling and his laughter. He was just so fun and upbeat," she says. 

Bryant has been close to McIlvain's mother. "We have in this group of mothers whose kids grew up in that neighborhood...we have stayed together, very bonded close throughout all these years. And we all have sons. And you feel like it's your son. It's a horror," she says. 

--Written by Amy Ta, produced by Caleigh Wells

Credits

Guests:
Katie Spicer - Southern California resident, Joan Bryant - Southern California resident

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells