Fremont Students, Faculty Shaken By Loss Of Physics Teacher In Diving Boat Fire – CBS San Francisco

Fremont Students, Faculty Shaken By Loss Of Physics Teacher In Diving Boat Fire - CBS San Francisco
Los Altos father, daughter among dead in Southern California dive boat fire
A Los Altos father and his adult daughter are among the 34 people presumed dead after a dive boat went up in flames early Monday near an island off the Southern California coast.

Raymond “Scott” Chan was a physics teacher at American High School in Fremont, and his 26-year-old daughter, Kendra, was a wildlife biologist.

The family of five, celebrating a birthday with an activity they enjoyed, was among 34 people presumed dead in the blaze. All were sleeping below deck when the fire started early Monday. Other victims included students from a Northern California charter school serving grades 7-12, a high school science teacher and his daughter, an Arizona couple and a marine biologist who owned the diving company and was leading the tour.

The Fremont Unified School District said in a statement that Chan taught an Advanced Placement physics classes for the past three years at the school.

“His students knew him to be an innovative and inspiring teacher who developed a passion for physics among his students,” the district said in a statement. “His loss is a tremendous tragedy for our school district.”

In Fremont, students returned to their first day of school since learning that one of their beloved teachers died on the Southern California boat fire. Bob Redell reports for NBC Bay Area News on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

Los Altos Father And Daughter, Both Passionate Divers, Among Victims In Tragic Boat Fire

A father and daughter from the South Bay were on board the Conception. 59-year-old Scott Chan was a teacher at American High School in Fremont. He was with his 26-year-old daughter Kendra Chan. KTVUs Azenith Smith spoke with the widow and grieving m

Finstad knew the area well, having done hundreds of dives in the Channel Islands, where she first swam with her father as a toddler. She first dove with a tank off Mexico at age 9, according to her companys website.

Chan graduated from Stanford with undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering and worked as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley for 20 years before launching into a career in teaching.

Chan said on his LinkedIn page that his teaching was fed by his “passion and wealth of real-world experience from research laboratories, and the electronics, computer, and high-performance automotive industries.”

Chan said on his LinkedIn page that his teaching was fed by his “passion and wealth of real-world experience from research laboratories, and the electronics, computer, and high-performance automotive industries.”

“Right now, its a combination of just shock and disbelief and some numbness,” Moore told KTVU-TV. “You dont expect to have a child that dies before you. I can barely talk about my husband, but frankly, its even harder when its your own child.”

The Conception was anchored in Platts Harbor off Santa Cruz Island when it became fully engulfed in flames as 30 passengers slept below deck. All but one body has been recovered by authorities searching the wreck.

Such heartbreak. A father & daughter from #LosAltos among those on board the Conception. 59 y/o Scott Chan was a teacher at American High School in #Fremont. He was with his 26 y/o daughter Kendra. Chan’s wife shared these pictures & said the two bonded over diving #ktvu 10/11p pic.twitter.com/fTYHGPpUJV

“You couldnt ask for a worse situation,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Monday news conference.

Fremont Unified School District spokesman Ken Blackstone said Tuesday that Scott Chan taught at American High in Fremont and was well-liked. The district originally said his wife was with him but later said they learned she was not on board.

Five crew members sleeping on the top deck jumped off and took a dinghy to safety. Two had minor injuries.

The missing and dead were among 39 passengers and crew who had departed Santa Barbaras Channel Islands Harbor on Saturday. The fire ignited at about 3 a.m. as the boat was anchored off Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The crew appeared to quickly call for help.

ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix reports that an Arizona couple, Patricia Beitzinger and Neal Baltz, were also on board, according to Baltzs father.

“The call was garbled, it was not that clear, but we were able to get some information out of it to send vessels,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.

Authorities say 34 people are missing and presumed dead after the vessel sunk near Santa Cruz Island early Monday.

The 75-foot Conception, based in Santa Barbara Harbor on the mainland, was owned by Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics, founded in 1974. A memorial outside Truth Aquatics in the Santa Barbara Harbor grew Monday night as mourners came to pay their respects.

"This morning we were saddened to learn of the death of Raymond (Scott) Chan. Mr. Chan and his child, died over the weekend in the tragic boat fire off the coast of Santa Barbara.  Mr. Chan taught AP Physics 1 and AP Physics C at American for the past three years. Mr. Chan was a beloved teacher at AHS among students and colleagues. His students knew him to be an innovative and inspiring teacher who developed a passion for physics among his students. His loss is a tremendous tragedy for our school district.

Coast Guard records show all safety violations from the last five years were quickly addressed by the boats owners. Some safety violations were related to fire safety. A 2016 inspection resulted in owners replacing the heat detector in the galley, and one in 2014 cited a leaky fire hose.

To assist students and staff in coping with this loss, a special district crisis intervention team will be on the AHS campus this week. The team includes school staff (counselors, psychologists, and nurses) and district level personnel who have been specially trained to assist in crisis situations. An increased level of individual and group counseling services has been made available. We will continue to provide these services to students as long as they are needed."

FREMONT (KPIX 5) — A Los Altos father and daughter who shared a passion for the outdoors and scuba diving were among the victims in the Southern California boat fire, a Fremont Unified School District spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

In a statement released to parents and the media, Brian Killgore said that Raymond Scott Chan was a “beloved” AP physics teacher at American High School and had been there for three years.

On social media, both Scott and his daughter, Kendra Chan, posted pictures that showed their love for the water and nature. Scott reposted a video by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of his daughter, where she spoke about how she became a wildlife biologist.

“I grew up scuba diving here in the Channel Islands; I would go with my dad every year and I love it,” she said in the interview. “I grew up really fortunate to have parents that both majored in science.”

A president is shot, Cal Ripken Jr. breaks an unbreakable record, and the world mourns the passing of a princess, all on this day.

She was a biologist who once said: I grew up scuba diving here in the Channel Islands; I would go with my dad every year and I love it. pic.twitter.com/pWuvt8HhAg

In one of his last Facebook posts, Scott uploaded a picture of himself scuba diving with a comment that said, “My daughter lives in Ventura, so it’s my excuse to visit her.”

The father and daughter died the day before Labor Day on the scuba diving boat, the Conception, when it caught fire in the early morning hours off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. The inferno trapped 34 people on-board.

“He enjoyed his diving and he did it all up and down the coast here,” said Charles McKinven.

The Pacific Scuba Divers instructor said that Scott was a long-time customer at the shop and had even tried to convince the owner to come with him on the doomed trip.

“He was actually being texted last week to go on that trip, but obviously he didn’t go on it,” McKinven said. “I was in total shock.”

“It’s tough to put into words, really, the fact that you know somebody that was diving and to go through an incident like this and they’re gone, you can’t really fathom it.”

McKinven said every time someone dives in the water they know they’re taking a risk, but to lose the victims in this way has left the small, tight-knit scuba diving community in shock and searching for answers.

“Diving is a high intensity type of sport and there’s a risk to it, but it’s an individual risk,” McKinven said. “To hear of an incident with 30 plus divers being involved all at once, it’s unbelievable.”

Scott leaves behind his wife and son, Kevin Chan, who paid tribute to his sister on social media Tuesday.

He posted a picture of the two jumping and high-fiving with the caption, “Thanks for being my big sister, Kendra. I’ll miss you and your love for all things outdoors and underwater. Rest easy.”


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