Indian American couple feared dead in California boat fire that claimed 34 lives

Kaustubh Nirmal and Sanjeeri Deopujari
Kaustubh Nirmal and Sanjeeri Deopujari

Kaustubh Nirmal and his wife Sanjeeri Deopujari were among those on board a boat that caught fire off Santa Cruz Island in California.

An Indian American couple is believed to be among those who lost their lives in a freak boat accident near Santa Cruz island in California on Monday morning.

Kaustubh Nirmal and Sanjeeri Deopujari were from Stamford, Connecticut, and were on board a boat full of scuba divers that caught fire and sank off the California coast.

Nirmal worked in finance and his wife, Sanjeeri, was a practicing dentist. Officials are yet to confirm the news. However, only five occupants of the boat were able to survive the accident.

According to his Facebook profile, Nirmal was from Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, while Deopujari grew up in Nagpur, in central India.

The five survivors are crew members, who were sleeping on the top deck of the boat. The crew members were able to escape by jumping off the boat and taking a smaller boat to reach the shores. The boat carried 33 passengers and six crew members. According to media reports, 34 people died in the tragedy.

The family of the Indian American couple fears that the two are among the dead. Deopujari has a sister living in New York and she is trying to get more information about the incident. Deopujari’s father is a doctor from Nagpur, India, and he has left for the US as soon as he came to know that the boat the couple was in caught fire.

The diving boat, named Conception, was in the Channel Islands when it caught fire. The occupants of the boat could not escape the calamity. Most of them were on an exploration trip and loved water sports. Many were on board to celebrate special occasions.

The couple from India had married a little over two years ago. Currently DNA mapping is being done to identify the victims and hand over the remains to the family members of the deceased. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, some early reports may be pointing toward security lapses.


  1. Satish Deopujari

    Dear Tanay
    Think before you write.
    SANJEERI my daughter was a US citizen and
    a dentist from NYU.
    She knew SCUBA and was there for
    Love you
    Dr. Deopujari

  2. Tanay Mishra

    Did they know scuba diving? If not, why were they on the boat? Why do people take such stupid chances? Anyhow there are way too many visa indians in the US currently, so a few less isn’t that bad. Trump Administration really needs to crack down on all these visa fraudsters, resume fakers, and job stealers from India arriving here by the boatloads day in and day out. Enough is enough, its gotta stop. Deport all of them immediately.

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