Kristy Finstad Biography
Kristy Finstad of Santa Cruz was among the divers helping to lead the expedition aboard the Conception, which caught fire in the early morning hours on Monday. She was a National Association of Underwater Instructor(NAUI) with a degree in Aquatic Biology and a spirit of adventure. Finstad co-owns a company called-Worldwide Diving Adventures that chartered the diving boat that caught fire and sank early Monday off the coast of Southern California.
“Please pray for … Kristy!!” Brett Harmeling told Facebook friends his sister, Kristy Finstad, 41, “was leading a dive trip” aboard Santa Barbara-based #Conception, organized w/ husband, David Chua, & their Santa Cruz-based Worldwide Diving Adventures.
(Kristy Finstad/Facebook) pic.twitter.com/osTJvZ6L2e
— Scott Steepleton (@ScottSteepleton) September 3, 2019
Kristy Finstad Age
She was 41 years old.
Who Is Kristy Finstad
“We’re still waiting to hear, unfortunately. It’s not looking good,” said the brother of missing Marine biologist Kristy Finstad — who was among a group of people on the dive boat that went ablaze off the coast of California.https://t.co/biz333Y1Pg
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) September 2, 2019
Finstad co-owns the diving company which chartered The Conception-the 75-foot boat that caught on fire early Monday morning. Her company is called Worldwide Diving Adventures.
Finstad said via the site, “My mission is to inspire an appreciation for our underwater world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the service of helping people invest in experiences of a lifetime.”
Kristy Finstad Father
One of the people reportedly missing is Kristy Finstad from Santa Cruz. She is listed as a guide on the Worldwide Diving Adventures website. Brett Harmeling posted on Facebook that Finstad is his sister and that she was leading the diving tour. https://t.co/aUGlRPPfQi pic.twitter.com/sxtE2XY2Bb
— KTVU (@KTVU) September 3, 2019
Finstad’s father is Bill Finstad. She inherited Worldwide Diving from her father who founded the company in 1972. After her father’s death, she became the owner of the company.
Kristy Finstad Husband
SANTA CRUZ RESPONDS: The city of Santa Cruz has issued a statement in response to hearing that former employee and diver Kristy Finstad was among the missing after a boat fire in Southern California. What the Mayor and City Manager’s office have to say: https://t.co/AuHyEYYWZg
— KION News 5 46 (@KION546) September 3, 2019
Finstad is married to her husband Dan Chua. Currently, she co-owns the company with her husband- they run the business and lead excursions as licensed scuba instructors.
Kristy Finstad Brother(Brett Harmeling)
#KristyFinstad, 41, of Santa Cruz was among the divers helping to lead the expedition aboard … https://t.co/14lgSPzkHS via @MailOnline The face of a woman in love with nature. We pray for God to hold her in the palm of his hand, in love & for eternity.
— Sarah Whalen (@SarahWhalen7) September 3, 2019
Finstad’s had a brother Brett Harmeling- who shared the news of his sister’s involvement with the boat on Monday, several hours after news of the fire spread.
“Please pray for my sister Kristy!!” he wrote. “She was leading a dive trip on this boat. ??”
Worldwide Diving Adventures Accident(Fire)
Conception captain, Jerry Boylan, can be heard telling a Coast Guard dispatcher that all of his passengers are trapped below deck ‘with no escape hatch’.
‘There’s 33 people on board the vessel on fire. They can’t get off,’ the captain says.
The dispatcher responds: ‘Roger. Are they locked inside the boat? Roger. Can you get back on board and unlock the doors so they can get off? Roger. You don’t have any firefighter gear at all, no fire extinguishers or anything?’
Most of the captain’s responses are unintelligible, except for the words: ‘I can’t breathe.’
He confirms that all the crew jumped off and the vessel is fully engulfed in flames.
Worldwide Diving Adventures Victims
A fire raged through the boat early Monday, leaving at least eight people dead and hope diminishing that any of the 26 people still missing would be found alive.
Five crew members escaped by jumping off the boat and taking refuge on an inflatable boat.
Rescuers recovered four bodies from the waters just off Santa Cruz Island and spotted four others on the ocean near where fire-raged boat sank.
Search and Rescue Team
Well, it appears the Conception was chartered by a dive company owned and operated by Kristy Finstad — a diving instructor and marine biologist who runs Worldwide Diving Adventures out of Santa Cruz with her husband Dan Chua who was away running another dive trip.
— ?? I am Robert E. Leroy (@BruceLeroyi812) September 3, 2019
Search and rescue efforts continued Monday, but Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester said it was time to prepare for the worst outcome.
They were continuing to search for survivors, but Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester cautioned that it was unlikely anyone else would be found alive.
‘We will search all the way through the night into the morning, but I think we should all be prepared to move into the worst outcome,’ she told an afternoon news conference.
Kristy Finstad Tributes
— pitsr4me ?⭐️⭐️⭐️?? (@pitsr4me) September 3, 2019
Tributes and consolations have already flooded in for Finstad, particularly in the comments section for her brother’s Facebook status. “I’m so sorry,” one user wrote. “My thoughts are with your family and Dan.”
Another user wrote, “Nothing but positive vibes, thoughts, and prayers for your family and your sister’s safe return home”
Still another Facebook user wrote, “Been friends and dove with Kristy, her Dad, and Dan many times. Very scary praying for good news”
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Kristy Finstad, 41, helped organize three-day diving expedition aboard Conception near Channel Islands in Southern California
- Her brother, Brett Harmeling, said he has yet to hear from her since the boat caught fire before dawn on Monday
- ‘Please pray for my sister,’ Harmeling, 31, wrote on his Facebook account
- Finstad’s husband, Dan Chua, helped her organize the trip through their family-owned company, Worldwide Diving Adventures
- Chua was leading a separate diving expedition in Costa Rica this weekend and did not join his wife
- Among the passengers feared dead are a 17-year-old girl who was celebrating her birthday with her parents
- Twenty-five people have been confirmed dead and nine are still missing as authorities continue search and rescue efforts