A 75-year-old Colorado woman died and two others were taken to the hospital after large waves caused a double-decker tour boat to sink Tuesday near the Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas, according to reports.
“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.”
People wearing life vests screamed and some jumped into the water as the boat lifted to one side.
The ferry was almost to the island, but not close to shore, Schissel said in a subsequent video. She said she believed the captain was trying to be “silly” by whipping the boat’s end around while trying to turn 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.
When she looked down below, she noticed water coming onto the boat.
“One of the crew members that was downstairs ran upstairs and was crying, freaking out, absolutely bawling, grabbing a life jacket,” she said.
She said many of the passengers aboard were waiting for the tour boat staff to tell them what to do, but claims they never did because they were too busy panicking.
Another passenger, Sarah Plourde, told Storyful, “The first floor filled with water, and we had to climb to the side and climb out the window. The captain wouldn’t turn the engines off, so we were scared to swim out the back due to the propeller.”
Schissel said a lot of people jumped into the choppy water in attempts to get to rescue boats. She ended up on a local fisherman’s boat. She said once ashore, those impacted were offered shirts, shoes and food prior to being taken back to the cruise ship they were traveling on ahead of the planned excursion.
The Nassau Guardian responded to the scene and said the victim’s “covered body was lying on the vessel that was used for the rescue, and her husband was crouched over her with his head down caressing her.”
The local newspaper spoke with police, who said the ferry had more than 100 passengers on board when it left a Bay Street dock for Blue Lagoon around 9:30 a.m. The boat began taking on water about a half hour into the ride.
A statement from Blue Lagoon Island shared to X by The Caribbean Post says the incident happened around 11 a.m., and that “emergency teams from the island quickly arrived to render assistance.” It said passengers and five staff members were located, taken to the island and two passengers were taken to the hospital for additional care.
“All onboard are accounted for,” the statement reads. “The Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Blue Lagoon, and other vessels all assisted in getting people to shore and we are grateful for their help.”
The statement made no mention of the woman who died. Blue Lagoon Island did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.