Hospice Provides Support for Conception Fire Tragedy

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Source: Hospice of Santa Barbara

As part of the Community Wellness Team, Hospice of Santa Barbara counselors have been available at the Family Assistance Center at Earl Warren Showgrounds to support family and friends of the victims of the devastating fire on the diving boat Conception.

The Family Services Center serves as a hub for family and friends to gather and to receive updates as well as emotional, spiritual and logistical support. Other organizations offering support include the American Red Cross and County Mental Health.

An estimated 34 people were killed as a result of a tragic boat fire which took place off the coast of Santa Cruz Island early Monday morning. As of Wednesday morning, the remains of 33 victims have been recovered and family members and friends of those lost in the tragedy grapple with their emotions and loss. Many of the victims were not from Santa Barbara so family members are coming in from across the country.

“As we have been in other public tragedies, we are ‘present’ as grief professionals offering emotional support, as needed,” said David Selberg, CEO, and Hospice of Santa Barbara. “The pain, confusion and profound shock that family and friends are experiencing is impossible to describe and we are there to assist in any way we can.”

Makeshift memorials have been set up at the Santa Barbara Harbor with personalized notes, mementos, flowers, candles and photos of the victims.

“So many in our community feel compelled to express their compassion and pay tribute in some way—even if they may not have known the victims, “ said Selberg. “These memorials are actually a very cathartic and healthy way in which our community can grieve and show their support.”

Conception's 33 passengers and 6 crew members were on a three-day excursion and diving trip in the Channel Islands.

Hospice of Santa Barbara
Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on twelve local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

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