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American tourist, 75, dies after Bahamas excursion boat sinks on trip to Blue Lagoon

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An elderly American tourist died Tuesday after a ferry carrying cruise ship passengers to the Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas began to sink in choppy waters.

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The privately operated ferry, which offers cruise ships that call into the Bahamas popular excursions, had been headed from Paradise Island in Nassau to the Blue Lagoon Island when it started to sink.

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Terrifying footage captured panicked passengers in orange life jackets clinging onto the two-deck ferry as it tilts dramatically to one side.

Passengers appear to fall to one side of the boat as the ship floats over rocky waters, and in later footage, the tourists can be seen jumping into the ocean.

A 75-year-old American woman from Colorado died in the incident, local police told Bahamas newspaper Tribune 242.

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The woman has not been publicly named, and the exact circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear.

The ferry full of tourists was nearing its destination when conditions on the water began to deteriorate, American tourist Kelly Schissel said in a TikTok recapping the horrifying incident.

A 75-year-old American woman died after a boat full of tourists began sinking in the Bahamas.
TikTok / @sarahplourde8

“One of the crewmembers who was downstairs ran upstairs and was crying, absolutely bawling, and grabbing a life jacket. That’s when everybody was like . . . this is real, something’s happening,” Schissel said in the TikTok.

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As water began to fill the ship’s main deck, passengers put on life jackets and moved to the boat’s top level.

According to Schissel, several crew members were in hysterics over the incident and therefore unable to instruct passengers on what to do.

Video shows passengers in orange life jackets falling to one side of the tilted boat.
TikTok / @kellyswitz

“Once we realized we were starting to sink, and we saw the water coming in, people were screaming and people were freaking out so we all got our life jackets on,” she said. “We were waiting for the staff to direct us on what to do, and they didn’t.”

Other video shows passengers eventually began to jump out of the sinking ship into the bright blue water below.

While it looked beautiful, Schissel said the waters were rough, and many people struggled to keep their heads above the choppy waves.

The 75-year-old woman’s death is currently under investigation.
TikTok / @sarahplourde8

Eventually, rescue boats were called to the scene. Several good samaritans in boats nearby also took in some of the ferry’s passengers, Schissel said.

Two of the boat’s passengers were taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment, the tour operator told The Maritime Executive.

The circumstances surrounding the 75-year-old woman’s death are currently under investigation.

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