Cincinnati native, SCPA graduate dies in California boat fire

Updated: Sep. 3, 2019 at 10:57 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati native is confirmed to be one of the victims of the deadly Labor Day dive-boat fire off of California’s coast.

Alexandra “Allie” Kurtz, 25, was aboard The Conception when it caught fire Monday, her mother Cherie McDonough confirmed.

The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for survivors in the accident after 20 bodies were recovered and another 14 were presumed dead.

A message that reads “I love you Allie” sits at the memorial site along the Santa Cruz coastline. Thirty-four people are presumed dead after a dive boat caught fire and sank near the Channel Islands early Monday.

“We came out from Cincinnati, Ohio because my daughter Alexandra Kurtz was on The Conception and she died,” Mcdonough said Tuesday.

Kurtz was a 2011 graduate of School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Cincinnati Public Schools confirms.

Authorities say the boat was on a three-day diving excursion. It departed Saturday morning and was due back Monday evening.

All 34 people now confirmed dead or missing were asleep, in the bottom deck area, when the fire broke out Monday morning.

Five crew members that were on the third deck of the ship were able to escape.

Kurtz’ mother say the family is still struggling to cope with this tragedy.

“I comes in waves. I never thought I would have to go through this," she said.

McDonough says that Kurtz worked at Paramount Pictures for a while and was living out a life she loved.

“I mean, she was a go-getter," McDonough said. "She was just following her dreams. She loved it here, and she loved the boat, and she loved diving. And she would just do, she could do anything she wanted.”

It is still unclear what caused the fire, but authorities say The Conception was in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

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