Paddle out honors local woman killed in dive boat fire

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SAN DIEGO -- Friends of a local woman who died in a boat fire near Santa Cruz Island said the sunset, tide and wildlife around Mission Bay was picture perfect for a paddle out to honor her life Wednesday evening.

"She would've laughed the whole time she was out there with us," said Ciara Guedesse, a member of Venture Active.

Two years ago, Imperial Beach resident Nicole Quitasol joined the group made up of members who share a love for the outdoors and especially the water.

"It was easy to love her. Millions of people out there are going to miss her every single day," Guedesse said.

Quitasol, along with two of her sisters, her father and her stepmom died when a diving boat caught fire and sank early Monday near Santa Cruz Island.

A fundraiser will be held Thursday evening at Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint in Coronado, where Quitasol worked. Most of the proceeds and all of the tips will be turned over to her family to help pay for funeral arrangements.

On September 21, an all-day event in honor of Quitasol's memory will begin with an early morning hike at Cowles Mountain followed by a yoga session in the afternoon and a larger paddle out as the sun starts to set.

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