Cruise passenger dies after sinking of third-party Bahamas excursion boat

A ferry boat carrying cruise ship passengers partially sank off the Bahamas during the morning of Tuesday November 14th, killing one person.

The two-deck passenger ferry departed Paradise Island, Nassau, on a routine tourist run to Blue Lagoon Island. The privately-operated ferry service is part of a shoreside package excursion, offered by multiple cruise lines that call in the Bahamas.

Surface conditions on scene were described as choppy. The ferry was nearing its destination when it appeared to manoeuvre abruptly. It began taking on water on the main deck level. All passengers donned life jackets and moved to the high side of the top deck. Several passengers claimed that they received little help from the crew, who seemed unaware of what they had to do, and that the passengers eventually abandoned ship on their own initiative and were rescued by nearby good Samaritan vessels. Two passengers were taken to a hospital for more care, according to the tour operator.

The vessel came to rest on the bottom, which was relatively shallow. Most of the top deck was still visible above the water.

One 75-year-old American passenger passed away, according to local police, though the timing and the cause were not released. The circumstances of the casualty are under investigation.