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Us Family Hits Out Over Shark Death

Jordan Lindsey was killed by sharks in June.

Jordan Lindsey was killed by sharks in June.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE family of the American woman killed in a shark attack while swimming off Rose Island in June has claimed the tour company had no basic medical supplies and did nothing to attempt to save the college student’s life.

Californian Jordan Lindsey, 21, pictured, was savaged by sharks while swimming with her mom near Rose Island on June 26.

Relatives blasted tour company, Sandy Toes Bahamas, in a joint statement released on Tuesday, detailing the ordeal and allegations of inadequate emergency response.

The company - which offers excursions, private events and weddings alongside its beach bar and luxury villa on Rose Island - yesterday maintained all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the incident.

The family’s claim follows a recent stakeholder meeting staged by the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) to discuss the development of emergency protocols and regulations for the water sport industry.

The family statement read: “Although nothing can change the outcome of the tragedy we’ve suffered, our hope in speaking out is that mandatory safety measures are put in place, so this is less likely to happen again. We also want tourists to know that when booking a tour, while the excursion company may have great reviews, it may not have basic safety measures or first aid equipment in place.”

The entire Lindsey family was on the Rose Island day-trip excursion, but only Jordan and her mother, Kami, were snorkelling at the time of the attack.

“The shark(s) were not seen by anyone, to our knowledge, until the attack,” the statement read.

“Fortunately, Jordan’s siblings, father and her long-time girlfriend did not witness the attack. It was widely reported the family saw the shark(s) in the water and yelled to Jordan, but she did not hear them.”

According to the statement: “When Jordan and Kami entered the water, they were acknowledged by two staff members who were finishing their lunch on land, but no staff members or guides entered the water with them. During the attack, Jordan and her mother were inside, but at the far end of, a roped-off snorkelling area.

“Other snorkellers were a good distance away from where the attack occurred and once the attack happened, they scrambled out of the water.”

Despite some news reports that said Sandy Toes’ staff members jumped into the water, the family said they did not and no boat arrived to help during the attack.

“Shockingly, no staff mobilized to assist in any way,” the statement said.

Two staff members called over from a nearby rocky hill, urging Kami and Jordan to swim to them; they had no medical or emergency supplies, the statement said.

“As they tried to swim toward each other and toward the rocky hill, a shark came between them and again attacked Jordan. By this time, Kami was able to grab Jordan’s hand and drag her to the rocky shore where the staff members pulled both of them out of the water

“Once out of the water, there was no medical attention provided to Jordan.

“They had no first aid kit - no basic supplies for any type of injury. It felt like a lifetime as they waited for a boat to arrive. When the small boat arrived, it contained only a bench and a staff member driving.”

Jordan’s father, siblings and girlfriend did not witness the attack and relatives say staff did not clear the beach or notify the rest of the family.

“Rather,” the family’s statement read, “(relatives) overheard conversations from others that had been snorkelling and when they noticed people crying, realising the severity of what had happened and soon after, concluded that it was their precious Jordan who the snorkellers were crying for.”

After last week’s stakeholder meeting, TDC CEO and Executive Director Janet Johnson told The Tribune there were growing concerns over the need for regulations, specifically emergency drills and protocols.

“It was just an initial coming together to talk about emergency protocols and those sorts of things that may have happened and to look at putting some rules and regulations in place,” Ms Johnson said last week.

“I think some good stuff came out of it. People feel that we need to put some regulations in place and that we need to start doing drills and things so that we have emergency protocols in place for when things happen. We’re a water-based destination, a lot of our tours are water based.“

Sandy Toes was among organisations represented at the tourism stakeholder meeting, alongside the Bahamas National Trust, the Port Department, the Marina Association, Blue Lagoon, Stuart’s Cove, the Bahamas Dive Association, the Department of Fisheries, and the Bimini Shark Lab.

A follow-up meeting is planned for later this month.

Yesterday, Sandy Toes’ issued a statement read: “We would once again like to extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jordan Lindsey who recently passed away as a result of a shark attack in waters near Rose Island in the Bahamas.

“All reasonable steps were taken to prevent this very unfortunate incident and our staff responded swiftly and in line with our emergency protocols and procedures.”

The statement added: “We continue to pray for the Lindsey family and all those who have been impacted by this tragic occurrence.”

Lindsey’s death was the first confirmed shark-related death in the Bahamas since 2008, although the country traditionally records several shark attacks per year.

A GoFundMe campaign set up to cover travel and funeral expenses for Lindsey has raised more than $75,000 in less than two weeks.

Another American, Jonathan Hernandez, told NBC reporters he survived a shark bite in Abaco just days before Lindsey’s tragedy.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

The U.S. State Department really needs to do much more to ensure that the Bahamian government properly regulates all water sports and tour operators. Perhaps the U.S. State Department should ban all advertising in the U.S. by our ministry of tourism and private hotels and tour operators, including the cruise ship companies, until such time that the U.S. embassy in the Bahamas and the State Dept. are satisfied that U.S. visitors to our shores will be adequately protected by properly enforced regulations. Any tour operator in the U.S. would be immediately suspended from conducting business if a tragic incident involving the loss of life happened and there was prima facie evidence of its failure to maintain basic emergency medical supplies consistent with code requirements. And a major lawsuit would likely put the grossly negligent tour operator out of business, and rightfully so. The directors and key management personnel of Sandy Toes Bahamas should all be sued up the wassu for their gross neligence......this poor girl was given no chance of survival, not by the sharks that attacked her, but by the greedy owner/operators of the tour company that obviously sought to cut their operating costs to the bare bone......no costs incurred for keeping necessary emergency medical supplies and no costs incurred in the training of any personnel to handle various kinds of emergency (life threatening) situations. Just who are the greedy owners of Sandy Toes Bahamas who only care about their profits and absolutely nothing else?

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

The BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT really needs to do much more to ensure that all water sports and tour operators are property regulated. What a HORRIFIC occurence.

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joeblow 3 months, 1 week ago

... equally as important is determining who monitors and maintains these safety nets found at public beaches.

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truetruebahamian 3 months, 1 week ago

The usa has nothing to do with our regulations.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

No, but the USA has everything to do with our tourism industry and whether its citizens and residents can continue to visit our shores.

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moncurcool 3 months, 1 week ago

Just remember, the USA is not the only country on the world that has tourists. If we would wake up we would realise that our 6 million is just a drop in the bucket to what other countries get. Maybe the time has come for us to open our eyes to attracting tourists form the rest of the world.

So when the USA regulates us, do we become another colony for them?

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JackArawak 3 months, 1 week ago

there continues to be corruption on a massive scale, it will not get better any time soon. When you can get you business license under the table from ya Granny Auntie Nephew you can expect to run your business with no oversight or accountability. I have owned and managed multiple Bahamian businesses, I know first hand.

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

I 'understand' there was a recent television documentary indicating substantial money exchanged hands between U.S. interests and Bahamas Government officials leading to the ban on shark fishing??

Also, despite its slight decline in popularity, shark fin soup is still a Chinese favourite!

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joeblow 3 months, 1 week ago

The family is grieving, emotional and looking for some solace, which is understandable!

They should be aware that people die in the great USA from shark bites all the time, with the very best in medical care and first responders. A first aid kit could not have changed the outcome in this case.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

Not so! There have been many very serious shark attacks along U.S. coastal beach areas and just off of small islands along the U.S. coastline where the quick response of adequately equipped and trained emergency responders made the difference between life and death. You seem to be saying this young girl and her mother should have known the shark attack risk associated with snorkling in a roped off area designated as safe for such activity because one must simply accept that no one can be held accountable or reponsible for anything in a third world country like ours.

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joeblow 3 months, 1 week ago

No, my point was that based on the severity of the attack by 3 sharks and her having lost at least one limb, her chances of survival were virtually nonexistent. This does not excuse the absence of an appropriate first aid response (if true).

Survivability has to do with the severity of the attack and the involvement of major blood vessels which determines how quickly a person might go into shock from blood loss. I have first hand info that she was decimated by that attack. It is unlikely she could have survived, no matter where she was!

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Sickened 3 months, 1 week ago

If a shark happens to rip my intestines and lungs out of my body I sure hope there is a first aid kit on hand and a super fast boat just seconds away so that I can be saved.

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tetelestai 3 months, 1 week ago

Mudda, please provide your statistics to show that "there have been many very serious shark attacks along US coastal beach areas...where the quick response of adequately....made the difference".

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 1 week ago

This, the Exuma pleasure boat explosion, and the Eleuthera bus accident just exposes how vulnerable we are to major catastrophes ......... God forbid if a 100+ person casualty accident suddenly happen in Nassau .......... PMH or DH will be in operational crisis ....... Will they use the cruise ship or Miami hospitals???????

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truetruebahamian 3 months, 1 week ago

You've got to go sometime - there are few situations when you are going to know ahead of time. Perhaps one must be appreciative of that fact and in some form acquire a mental preparedness. We lost a son, we have learned that not every plan has a guaranteed contingency. We are a little more wary, humble and appreciative of the fact that sometimes the unplanned and unexpected will happen. We still miss our son and always will, regardless of the factors that when put together killed him. If we could change things we would, but that is fantasy. Perhaps no blame can be attributed - events just do happen which are outside and beyond our scope of control.

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concernedcitizen 3 months, 1 week ago

The owner of the boat that blew is running tours again ,just under a diiferent name .Damm its been more than a year and his case has still not been tried

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

Now list how many serious attacks there have been in recent decades where the victim has lived. And yes the stats are there for you to find if you know where to look. You can be rest assured the attorneys hired by this young girl's family will find them.

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Dawes 3 months, 1 week ago

Does it matter how many shark attacks there have been in the US? The basis of this article is that the family are saying there was no first aid, not help when it was needed. If true this needs to be changed. All tour operates should be mandated to have a trained first aider, and should have an adequate supply of first aid equipment. They should also have trained life guards especially the larger ones.

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BahamaRed 3 months, 1 week ago

Good luck, the snorkeling and diving industry has gone unchecked here for YEARS; and unless the Defence Force decides to start patrolling and boarding these vessels nothing will change. They need to start properly conducting the safety inspections for these boats that are affiliated with tour companies offering services to tourist. Board them and make sure they have things such as basic first aid supplies, fire extinguishers, and enough life jackets for all persons on board. Also all crew members should be at minimum in possession of a valid first aid/cpr certification.

Until then...this is just the beginning.

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Bonefishpete 3 months, 1 week ago

Americans don't think Bahamas be like it is but it do.

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John 3 months, 1 week ago

So what is the chances of surviving an attack by three sharks? When major limbs have been detached? The reason shark attacks used to be rare in The Bahamas is because Bahamians learned to respect sharks and not trust them. When they show up you get out the water. Right away. When someone, especially a family member or a loved one dies tragically like in a shark attack or a car or airplane accident, those in mourning will always feel more could have been done to save that person’s life. And in this case maybe more first aid should have been available. It may not have saved the person’s life but it would give comfort knowing everything was done to save them. So what will be the outcome of the helicopter crash where seven people, mostly young, lost their lives? Speculation is that the helicopter may have had some structural issues. Will there also be lawsuits against the manufacturers or against the estate of the owner? The problem with storing the antidote for snake bite is it will most likely be expired when time comes to use it.

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DualCit68 3 months, 1 week ago

You see people spear fishing, myself included, that has medic first aid training and supplies on our boats because SH** HAPPENS! It's called preventive medicine. You hope you don't need it but bey you best believe you bungy if it does you'll be happy ya done did. Second is proper first aid training. Maybe this poor gal wouldn't have been saved. However look how these boys been bit in Andros and Bimini this year got saved from their bites cause the boat people had training. Just like my boy said above, anyone can get a business license, no guidelines or regulations to run these tings. Every time foolishness starts it effects us because we are in no way self sufficient and need tourism. Gov't don't care man. Them tiefs only be caring bout theyselves ya know!

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