A ferry transporting cruise ship passengers experienced a partial sinking near the Bahamas on Tuesday, resulting in one death. Departing from Paradise Island, Nassau, on a routine tourist trip to Blue Lagoon Island, the two-deck passenger ferry, operated privately as part of a shoreside excursion package, serves multiple cruise lines visiting the Bahamas.
As the ferry approached its destination around 09:30, adverse surface conditions were observed. According to Kelly Schissel, an American tourist on board, the vessel seemed to make a sudden maneuver. Water ingress occurred on the main deck, causing anxiety among passengers below. Schissel reported that all passengers donned life jackets and moved to the higher side of the top deck, with minimal instructions provided by the crew.
Schissel recounted a distressing scene where a crew member from below deck appeared on the upper level, visibly upset and crying, grabbing a life jacket. This prompted passengers to realize the severity of the situation. Eventually, passengers took the initiative to abandon ship and were rescued by nearby good Samaritan vessels. Two individuals received further medical attention at a hospital, as reported by the tour operator.
The partially submerged vessel settled in relatively shallow waters, with most of the top deck still visible above the waterline. Local police confirmed the death of a 75-year-old American passenger, withholding details regarding the timing and cause. Investigations are underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Blue Lagoon Island ferry sinks near Bahamas, video shows
WATCH: A ferry carrying cruise ship passengers to the Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas began to sink in choppy waters. An American tourist from Colorado died in the incident – Video from inside the ferry pic.twitter.com/WjsM73P4X5
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 15, 2023