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Cruise ship passengers forced to jump into shark-filled waters after fire

PortandTerminal.com, August 2, 2019

Twenty-eight people on a small cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands were forced to jump off into shark-filled waters after a fire broke out on board their vessel. Their ordeal was caught on the video above.

What happened?

A fire broke out in the engine room aboard a small cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands last week forcing 16 passengers, some of whom reportedly did not know how to swim, and 11 crew who were all forced to make the difficult decision once the smoke filled their vessel and they could no longer breathe.

Making their decision scarier was the knowledge that some passengers had seen sharks earlier in the day and the incident was happening in the dark of night.


Sharks in the Galapagos Islands

Photo: Whitetip Reef Shark

The most common sharks in the Galapagos Islands:

  • Scalloped Hammerheads.
  • Galapagos shark.
  • Whitetip reef sharks.
  • Blacktip and gray reef sharks.

The passengers were on an eight-day cruise. A video shows terrified passengers scrambling to pull out life jackets fearing for their safety.

 “All hell broke loose, smoke filled the boat, they told us there was a fire in the engine.  I didn’t know if I was supposed to stay on board a burning boat or jump into the water with sharks.”

Struggling to breathe, the passengers had no option but to evacuate despite the scare of having seen sharks in the water.

To make matters worse, the two life rafts did not inflate on time prompting passengers and crew to swim toward the nearest island.

Finally, the rafts inflated and the group was rescued by a sailboat some two hours after jumping from the burning boat.

The boat fire’s reason is under investigation. The vessel has been repaired and pushed back into service, according to the tour company.

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