Woman dies after fire on casino shuttle boat off Florida Gulf Coast

From Pasco Sheriff                       WFTS Assignment Desk
From Pasco Sheriff WFTS Assignment Desk

16 January, 2018

- A Sun Cruz Casino shuttle caught fire Sunday afternoon in the Port Richey canal with 50 people on board.

The boat's 50 passengers and 12 crew members were traveling in the shuttle vessel destined for a casino boat when flames erupted around 4 p.m. Sunday.

He says he turned the boat closer to shore so passengers could get to safety. Luckily the crew and other passengers had a safe escape as they plunged into the icy cold water in the cold chilly day on the Gulf coast.

Passengers evacuated to hospital were experiencing smoke inhalation and chest tightening, according to ABC News.

It wasn't until late Sunday that a female passenger reported feeling ill and sought treatment at the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

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A person who was onboard the casino shuttle boat that caught fire off the Florida coast died overnight. He said passengers waded in waist-deep water before reaching land. "There were multiple people in the water", Zimmerman recounted.

When the fire sparked, the captain of the boat beached it about 100 feet from shore. "I just started putting them anywhere I could fit them — my garage, my fishing room".

"The captain of the boat said there was an issue with the engine".

The cause of the fire also remains under investigation, though authorities said they are eying the boat's engine as the cause. Local residents then offered them towels, socks and water to drink.

NTSB investigators also concluded that back in 2004 the Express Shuttle II crew failed to activate a Carbon dioxide fire suppression system, and couldn't use fire pumps because the engine had already failed.

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