On Tuesday near the Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas, a double-decker tour boat sank due to large waves, resulting in the unfortunate death of a 75-year-old Colorado woman, while two other individuals were transported to the hospital, Fox News reported.
“Our boat is sinking … so that’s fun,” Kelly Schissel could be heard saying in a video she posted to TikTok. “Everybody’s freaking out.” The video which is now going viral on other social media platforms shows people wearing life vests screaming and jumping into the water as the boat lifted to one side.
The ferry was nearing the island but still some distance from the shore, as mentioned by Ms Schissel in another video. She expressed her belief that the captain was attempting to add a playful touch by swiftly turning the boat’s end while manoeuvring into the Blue Lagoon area.
“Then all of a sudden we kinda hear people kind of freaking out a little bit,” she said as passengers on the top deck where she was began wondering what was going on.
The moment she looked down, she noticed water coming onto the boat.
— Disaster Tracker (@DisasterTrackHQ) November 16, 2023
“One of the crew members that was downstairs ran upstairs and was crying, freaking out, absolutely bawling, grabbing a life jacket,” she said.
She noted that a significant number of passengers on board were anticipating instructions from the tour boat staff on what actions to take. However, she asserts that such guidance was never provided as the staff seemed preoccupied with panicking themselves.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force received a distress call regarding a double-deck catamaran in distress, experiencing water ingress, shortly before 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday. According to a statement from the police, the catamaran was carrying tourists from Paradise Island to Blue Lagoon Island, a well-known private island and tourist hotspot, NBC reported.
Responding to the situation, units from the Police Marine Support and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force promptly arrived and assisted in the rescue of passengers and crew members “from the visibly sinking vessel,” as outlined in the official release.
According to a statement released online from Blue Lagoon Island, the passengers on board the ferry were from a cruise ship.
“Passengers and five staff members were located and brought to the island, and two passengers were taken to the hospital for additional care,” the statement continues.