CORONADO, Calif. — Coworkers and friends on Thursday evening remembered 31-year-old Nicole Quitasol, one of the 34 victims killed in a dive boat fire Monday morning off the Southern California coast.
For the past four years, Quitasol had been a server at Nicky Rottens Bar and Burger Joint in Coronado. Bryn Butolph, who is the CFO of Nicky Rottens, said Quitasol’s death is a tremendous loss.
“[She was] serving and bartending, [a] very consistent employee, and one of our core people, so we're missing a huge chunk of our team,” he said.
Quitasol was on a diving boat trip on the Conception with her sisters, father and stepmother. The family was celebrating Quitasol father's birthday.
"Nicole knew everything when it came to the ocean, so it was no surprise she went on a trip like this, and she was out doing what she loved,” said Butolph.
During Thursday evening’s memorial her coworkers held a benefit for the bright light gone too soon. "Nicole is one of a kind [and] I would say that she's an old soul and somebody when you meet, you feel like you know her for a very long time,” said Butolph. “She is going to be greatly missed. She was one of a kind for sure."
On Wednesday night, friends held a paddle out at Mission Bay.
"All of our members were, are really devastated,” said Ciara Guedesse, Quitasol’s friend.
Members of the Venture Active group met with Quitasol weekly for her love of the outdoors.
"I know that Nicole would want us to do this and to smile - and keep living our lives and carry her with us, an adventure with her still in our hearts because she would love to be out here today,” said Guedesse.
The owners of the dive boat where 34 people perished filed a lawsuit Thursday to head off potentially costly litigation, a move condemned by some observers as disrespectful to the families of the dead.
Investigators are still searching for what caused the blaze that wrecked the boat, which remains upside down at the bottom of the sea near the Channel Islands.