A woman filmed the panicked moments her ferry started sinking on the way to Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas
- A woman posted a TikTok showing what happened when a ferry she was on started to sink.
- Kelly Schissel was en route to Blue Lagoon Island on Tuesday when the disaster happened.
AA woman filmed what happened when her ferry started sinking on the way to Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas on Tuesday and shared the footage to TikTok.
Kelly Schissel and her husband Chad were en route to an excursion on the private island in a two-tier ferry as part of a Royal Caribbean cruise when the disaster happened.
Her TikTok showed alarmed passengers in life vests as the ferry slanted and water poured into the bottom deck.
"Our boat is sinking," Schissel said, panning the camera around the top deck, showing passengers clinging to the rails. "Everybody's freaking out."
Several passengers had also leaped from the ferry and were swimming toward a nearby boat. Schissel caught footage of more people jumping as the crowd on board continued to scream.
The final few seconds of the TikTok, which has amassed over 25 million views, showed a photo of the capsizing ferry from a distance.
Schissel was on board the ferry, which carried more than 100 passengers. The Associated Press reported that one tourist, a 74-year-old woman from Colorado, died and that two more were sent to a medical center. AP reported that everyone, including passengers and crew, were rescued and that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Schissel shared further videos describing her experience. She said the boat started sinking when it turned and was about to enter the Blue Lagoon area. She said she thought the captain was trying to show off with a fancy move that didn't pay off.
The island is a popular spot for tourists to swim with dolphins and stingrays and is famous for its clear blue water.
But Schissel never made it there. She said she started to think the trip was "a little bumpy" but thought nothing of it before the ferry lurched forward and water started splashing up.
"Then all of a sudden, you kind of hear people kind of freaking out a little bit," she said. "And at first, us on the top deck at least, we were just like, 'What's going on?'"
Schissel said she looked over the edge and saw water pouring into the ferry on the deck below.
"We were starting to lean forward just because we were starting to sink," she said. "And then one of the crew members that was downstairs ran upstairs and was crying, freaking out, absolutely bawling, grabbing a life jacket, and then that's when everybody's like, 'Oh shit, this is real. Something's happening.'"
She said passengers then started grabbing life jackets and waiting for instructions that never came.
"We were kind of waiting for the staff to tell us what to do," she said. "Which they never did because they were too busy crying and freaking out."
Tourists on board were also "screaming" and "freaking out," Schissel said, and then one man jumped into the water. Schissel said other people then began to follow suit.
"Everybody else was like, 'Shit, we might as well do the same thing,'" she said. "So we all jumped in, and it was actually pretty rough waves. So a lot of people, they were just trying to stay above water, even with their life vests on."
Schissel said it was warm and that the weather was fine, but the waves were strong, so it wasn't easy to swim toward rescue boats.
"I got on a fisherman's boat that had nothing to do with it," she said. "He was just driving by, saw it out of the corner of his eye, and came back around."
During the rescue, the staff were still panicking, Schissel said, so she tried to help organize the passengers. She said the woman who died "did make it to land," but must have been in worse shape than previously thought.
Schissel said that for an hour or two, they were all stuck in a small area on the island's pier and waited for official rescue boats to pick them up and take them back to the cruise ship.
"We haven't heard anything yet as of now," she said. "That's all I got for an update."
In a second update, Schissel said many people had been asking how she'd remained so calm during all the chaos.
"I've been traumatized so many times in my life it's not even trauma anymore," she said. "It was just Tuesday."
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