At least 15 hurt in fire on Florida boat, reports say

Brandon Parsons
January 16, 2018

When the fire broke out and the boat was abandoned, news reports say as many as 40 people entered the water immediately. But it was like anyway it goes, you got to take a chance.

The injuries included smoke inhalation and chest pains, fire department Deputy Chief Andrew Fossa said. She said there had never been any issues with the boat, which was destroyed by the fast-moving fire.

Another 14 people were reportedly injured, with eight of them taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.

The boat was the Island Lady, a 72-foot wooden-hulled T-boat that was shuttling passengers to a casino boat in the Gulf of Mexico, where gambling is legal in global waters.

The captain drove the boat and got it as close to land as possible so that the passengers on board could jump and swim to shore.

She says some even opened their homes and garages so they could stay warm, and brought out food and hot drinks. They determined deckhands had no emergency training and a fire detection system was also not working.

"If we didn't show up at the time we did, there were going to be serious consequences", Zimmerman said. The Coast Guard said late Sunday that everyone onboard was accounted for.

The bus burst into flames at around 3:30 p.m. ET as it was advancing toward the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise, as indicated by Beth Fifer, the gambling club's right hand CEO.

Another Tropical Breeze vessel caught fire in 2004.

She said no one has threatened legal action against the company.

One person is reported missing.

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Santangelo, himself the owner of a 25-foot boat, said assisting the passengers "was something you just had to do".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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