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Local dive shop owner saddened by deadly boat fire

Posted at 7:10 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 22:50:54-04

People in San Luis Obispo County are also feeling the impact of this morning's tragic event.

The owner of Pismo Beach Dive Shop says he sold gear to some of the people on the boat that caught fire early Monday morning near Santa Cruz Island.

Bill Bookout says the first thing that came to mind were the customers he helped a couple days back needing gear for their upcoming dive experience on the Conception.

"I have divers that bought dive gear from me that are out there this weekend on that boat. This last week I sold some fins, a mask, a snorkel, gloves to divers out there. I am devastated," Bookout said.

Among those customers were a father and son who were headed out on the boat for the extended weekend.

Bookout says he has dived with the boat company, Truth Aquatics, since the 1980s.

He says the company has been nothing but exceptional with the service and experiences they provide to divers of all levels, making this that much more difficult.

"We have all dove those boats, the Truth Aquatic Boats, they are just amazing. They give experiences of the Channel Islands to the novice, to the pro, the advanced that are phenomenal and this is devastating to our whole dive community,” Bookout said.

He adds that he doesn’t understand how an event like this happened in the first place, but says he feels this is a tremendous loss for everyone, especially those within the diving community.

"For everyone out there, I feel very sad, I feel sad for the family members. Let's just pray for them,” Bookout said.