Santa Cruz family killed in dive boat fire while celebrating teen’s birthday

Bay Area

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — A photo shows Steve Salika, his wife, Dianna Adamic, their daughter Tia, in the striped dive suit and her close friend Berenice Felipe. 

The photo is from a 2018 trip to Bonaire on the Caribbean led by the South Carolina-based Kids Sea Camp, according to Vice President Tom Peyton. 

“We take families diving all over the world, we have known Tia since she was 6 years old,” Peyton said. 

The Salika family and Berenice Felipe were on the dive boat that caught fire early Monday morning in the Channel Islands. 

They are presumed dead. 

They were celebrating Tia’s 17th birthday, according to Peyton. 

“I’ve been in the business 15 years and my wife has been in the business for 30 years,” Peyton said. “It was a freak thing, it just doesn’t happen. Most of society is afraid of diving with sharks, this family went to Fiji to dive with sharks so that tells you who they are.”

Peyton said the family loved diving. 

That love was passed on to Tia, who started diving at 6-years-old. 

Her friend Berenice was a frequent dive buddy, according to Kids Sea Camp. 

They were booked on another dive over Thanksgiving, back to Fiji. 

“We have a breed of families that love adventure, love diving, love life, they’re passionate about the ocean, they were just wonderful people,” Peyton said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tracking COVID-19 in the Bay Area

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News