Michiana native dead after California boat fire

DOWAGIAC, Mich. --- The tragic dive boat fire that claimed the lives of 34 people now hitting close to home. One of the victims of the Santa Barbara diving boat fire was from Michiana.  

 52-year-old Lisa Fiedler was one of the 34 people who were trapped on a boat that caught fire and sank in Southern California’s Channel Islands Monday morning.

Lisa’s mother, Nancy Fiedler, is now speaking out about the horrific incident. Lisa was her only child. A publication called the Leader is reporting that she grew up in Dowagiac before moving to Marin County, California.

Nancy said her daughter was an avid diver and that her salvation is knowing her daughter was doing what she loved before her death.

Lisa was on board the Conception, a boat operated out of Santa Barbara, when it caught fire and sank.

"Lisa texted me Sunday night... She just said I’m having a great time, beautiful spot," Nancy said. "She loved the water. She was a Pisces and she said, 'I think I’m part fish'."

Nancy said Lisa was a lovable person, who loved nature as much as she did the water. When she wasn’t diving, she was a hairdresser and photographer in California.

While the pain of losing her daughter is still fresh, Nancy is still asking questions. She’s frustrated with the lack of information coming from officials and she has questions about the five crew members, assigned to sleep on the boat, who escaped.

"Why did the crew get off? I heard they had to swim around to get a dingy and then went to get help - that was valuable time lost. Why didn't they... Unless they couldn't get past the flames. I don't know."

Nancy is still waiting for official confirmation of her daughter’s death. She said she gave law enforcement a description of Lisa and that she’s waiting for DNA results.



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