She Escaped Flaming Boat, Went Home, Then Died

Posted January 16, 2018

Forty-nine passengers were able to make it to shore where they were treated by EMS.

The shuttle boat caught fire around 4 p.m. Sunday, quickly engulfing the boat, with the flames torching every inch of the boat except for the American flag at the bow. Then to escape the fire, passengers and crew jumped into the waters and clambered to shore there.

The 42-year-old woman died from her injuries after being taken to the hospital on Sunday, a news report said. Fifteen passengers had experienced chest pain, smoke inhalation and other injuries. Pasco Sheriff/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Lows dipped down to 38 degrees Sunday in nearby Tampa. The temperature of the water at the time was about 59 degrees - which is cold enough to cause hypothermia if a human being stayed in the water long enough. A small boat took them to the burnt-out remains of the boat.

After the boat caught fire, the captain beached it about 100 feet from the shore.

The 50 passengers swam to shore or were pulled from the water by rescuers.

The captain and crew are also known to have made it out safely.

The hospital staff reported her death to the Sheriffs Office at about 1 a.m. Monday. "These people had been totally submerged in the water".

Witness Bakr Jandali, 19, told The Tampa Bay Times that passengers "didn't have much time to decide whether or not to jump".

"I just happened to be one of the first on the scene", he said. "The whole neighborhood [was] communicating and going back to our houses to get whatever they need like water or clothes like socks". They said the shuttle vessel was headed out to the casino ship at the time.

The casino shuttle boat, owned by Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz, burnt to the hull.