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.
“His loss is a tremendous tragedy for our school district,” Killgore said.
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.”
Kendra Chan and her father — Scott — died in the Southern California boat fire.
They shared a passion over scuba diving.
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
— Maria Medina KPIX5 (@MariaKPIX) September 4, 2019
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.”