Boat fire: Six injured at PMH, four transported to Florida

A photo from social media reportedly of the remains of the boat.

A photo from social media reportedly of the remains of the boat.


SUNDAY 12.45PM UPDATE: Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said on Sunday that the six people treated at Princess Margaret Hospital following a boating accident in Exuma on Saturday are in stable condition. Local health officials do not yet know the status of the four people transported to a Florida hospital, however.


View of the burning boat from a nearby vessel

ONE person is dead and several others are injured after a boating accident in Exuma.

According to reports, shortly after 9am, a 40’ chartered tour boat was traveling in waters just off Barraterre, with 10 tourists and two Bahamians on board, when an engine exploded causing the boat to catch fire.

Ten people on board were injured and transported to the mini hospital in George Town. One female succumbed to her injuries. Several others are being airlifted for further medical treatment.


ohdrap4 6 years ago

ok, let me guess, someone operated this boat with no maintenance, no attention to safety procedures.

everybody around there knew it, but hey no one said nothing because the operator is a saint on earth and needs to make a living.

the only reason he did not fix the boat is because the vat went to 12%

then some plp troll is going to sue the govt and then call for the resignation of the minister of transport.

yes, in the past I used to work for monty python.

sorry, it is tragic.

OMG 6 years ago

Can't blame VAT on this.

tell_it_like_it_is 6 years ago

Please tell me why CNN has more information on this story than the Tribune?


Bonefishpete 6 years ago

New looking Yamaha outboards don't explode. Leaking under deck gas tanks do.

Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years ago

Smoking of cigarettes, cigars, medical and non-medical marijuana, etc. should not be allowed on these tour boats for very obvious reasons.

John 6 years ago

Yamaha outboard engines only have a few ounces of fuel in them when they are operating so even if the engine throws a rod or catches fire, there shouldn’t be an explosion big enough to set the entire boat on fire. And if the fuel tanks are properly sealed and the fuel lines intact there shouldn’t be no fuel or vapors on the boat to cause such a large explosion even if someone discarded a lighted cigarette. And if a boat is moving there is sufficient water flowing through the bilge to cause any leaking fuel to be pumped out before it builds up. Something else went wrong.

concernedcitizen 6 years ago

There is no smoking onboard .The boat was built by the owner of the tour company in Exuma .

proudloudandfnm 6 years ago

Engine did not explode.

Bad reporting.

Probably had a fuel leak under deck. But you can clearly see both engines still intact in all the photos.

concernedcitizen 6 years ago

I think the it was "put out " that the engine exploded and the tribune ran w it .Yamaha built the engines ,, a local fellow built the boat ,,follow me . I live this way ,,when the young Bahamian sailor got killed when one of the sailing sloops broke loose when being hoisted off the mailboat ,,first they blame AID for the bolts on the boom ,then they blamed the boy for not diving off when he heard the bolts breaking ,NEVER NEVER DID THEY SAY NO ONE SHOULD BE ON A BOAT WHEN THE CRANE TRUCK IS LIFTING IT ,,We have a hard part when it comes to taking responsibility

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

True, Concerned .......... That young boy dead and gone ....... just like that ..... and probably nothing has changed in HOW these people operate their sea businesses either ......... Just too slack and unconcerned about safety

Socrates 6 years ago

Firstly condolences to family of the deceased and wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to the injured. I just hope negligence is not a factor. The Americans will want answers and we dont need any bad press but we all know there is no enforcement of rules and standards here. it happens with the aircraft operators and i would guess its even worse with the boat operators.

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

This is the main problem with the Out Islands ........ anything goes and Government enforcement is either/or frowned upon, disregarded or bribed ......... It is a Catch22 situation, but bad PR for tourism.

Jetflt 6 years ago

Sheeprunner said it right......it’s a catch 22. As a tourist or a Bahamian for that matter, you’d like to enjoy the sights and scenes of the Islands, but you take your life in your own hands. Yes, the Americans will want answers and rightfully so, and the family of the deceased and those injured are going to sue somebody or some entity, and rightfully so!

Unfortunately, I wish them luck, because there is going to be little if any investigation, zero accountability, and the Government will simply chalk this up to “a very tragic and unfortunate incident.” Yes, it is a tragic and unfortunate incident and the Andy You can bank on that! The Government owes it to the deceased and to those injured to conduct a full and comprehensive investigation and to hold the responsible parties accountable - plain and simple! Now let’s see what happens. Mark my word!

And the by the way - those engines didn’t explode or catch fire. This wreaks of flammable combustion. Those engines have hardly been damage as you can see from the photos. And when an engine catches on fire, you can’t tell me that occupants on a boat are either killed or injured. The boat may eventually burn to the water line, and people will be jumping overboard, but this was more than a fire. This was an explosion I’m betting caused by fuel vapors trapped beneath the deck. But that’s how we Bahamians go......bush mechanics with WD40, wrench, screw driver, pliers and some tape that’ll fix everything!

rawbahamian 6 years ago

Oh, and you forgot to say " the Imperial Red Shirts " are responsible for the boat explosion because The Prime Minister himself didn't go to Exuma to inspect this boat and give it his blessing or should the minister of transport be held responsible because he is responsible for every mode of transport because the operators of these machines are blameless for anything that happens to their machines or the lives the machines injure, right comrade Tal !!!

observer2 6 years ago

RawBahamian. I know you are being cynical but you have a point. Successive Prime Ministers are to blame since Pindling's time in the creation of a culture of slackness and the lack of emergency policies and procedures. It looks like share chaos with the patrons giving the best advice which is obviously not headed by the workers. The video speaks volumes.

Like every other tragic accident, corruption or criminal activity the government will say they will investigate and when the investigation is completed they will report back to the Bahamian people.

The problem here is that they never complete most investigation and in most cases they never report back to the Bahamian people. Why? Under staffed? Lack of work ethic? Long lunch hours? Too many investigations? Lack of qualified staff? Culture of jobs for life and annual raises regardless of performance? Or all of the above.

The government will never tell you the real reason why a full report will probably never be issues. This tragic accident will be overtaken by some other absolutely incredible story in tomorrows Tribune.

What will the newspapers print tomorrow so we as the general public never get an official response and forget about the accident?

Let me guess:

  1. Merchants prices go up 50% due to 12% VAT increase.

  2. Webshops to stop paying taxes

  3. A bunch of crime over the weekend

  4. Shanty town tractor mows down houses and Fred Smith sues

  5. 500 migrants escape as the boat sales slowly up the Bahama chain and lands quietly at the south western end of the island. No one saw anything for days as the large sale boat sailed through the Bahama islands.

  6. More promises of crypto currencies for Grand Bahama.

Yes. Lets see what incredible stories arrive tomorrow.

DWW 6 years ago

Why? there is only one reason, the Bahamas Government always buries everything it can. every time, every party. "government in the dark". and we all allow it to happen. EVERY BAHAMIAN IS CULPABLE.

John 6 years ago

Yes there needs to be a full investigation. Lot of competition got into this boat charter business lately and some people wasn’t to happy with that. Went on one recently and couldn’t believe the number of operatives in the area.

UserOne 6 years ago

If you watch the video from the other boat I see two interesting reactions from the people on that boat. One was panic and shouting for their boat to be moved (so it would not catch fire, I presume). Then you see other people from the boat jumping into the water, taking with them life jackets and going to and boarding the boat that was on fire in an effort to help. God bless them.

John 6 years ago

The police need to question concerned citizen. He seems to know a lot about this boat that is involved in this sad and tragic incident.

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

Yep ........ he seems to know the inner workings of Exuma's boat tour business .......... and it sure needs to be investigated by the Port Authority .......Creole Frankie needs to get on with that asap.

concernedcitizen 6 years ago

I am a licensed Captain in this area that has run the same route/tour hundreds if not thousands of times .I also know the boat and who built it .I run surveyed ,licensed and insured sea worthy boats or I don,t captain them .What pray tell would the police have to question me about @John .I was not the Captain nor was I a witness

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

This story is already all over the US media .......... God help us, again with bad tourist PR from Exuma .......... Remember the Coachella-like party debacle?????

observer2 6 years ago

Yes, just google "exuma boat" and hundreds of hits.

Government too busy increasing VAT over the weekend and taxing the poor and collecting business license fees from boat operators...don't seem like they have anytime left to actually regulate anyone ... how often do developed countries have to complain about the jet skis? until they just stop flights to Nassau? If ya do learn you ga soon feel.

Yeah, dey busy busy collecting over $2.5 billion in taxes off a population of 350,000 ( or $70,000 per person) ... dat alone is hard work. Its even harder to spend all of this money and go into massive deficits of $8.5 billion and talking nonsense everyday about Crytop currencies in Grand Bahama.

They ga need crypto currencies and block chain to waste all this money when Bahamians are dragged to the poor house and then blame it on the PLP.

We get swing bad bad by this set.

concernedcitizen 6 years ago

Actually its not 70,000 per person .Our 1,5 million stop over visitors pay a good a portion of our taxes too .Every time they consume something duty was paid on ,,room tax ,departure tax ,,vat on what the consume

bogart 6 years ago

What in the world is going on ....when the authorities jes cracking down on small planes 'hacking' for passengers, Fish Fry., girls on Harbour Island beach , .....now this trajic accident.... investigations first and if anyone found guilty of wrongdoin, then they must be punished to the fullest extent x2.!!!

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

One of our fellow Tribune bloggers seem to know a lot about this Exuma tour boat situation and he goes by the alias "concerned citizen" ......... Am sure he will be helpful to the Police, Coroner's and Port Authority ......... even if he is incognito.

concernedcitizen 6 years ago

How could I be helpful as I was not the Captain nor was I a witness .If the police don,t know by now who built the boat they are incompetent , the Doctors that saw the injured at the mini hospital in Exuma and PMH can help the police .We have been asking for the industry down here to be better regulated ,sad to say but maybe this will make it happen

juju 6 years ago

How often, for example, are safety checks done on the fastboat companies who run Nassau to Exuma daily? Are the Captain and crew properly trained for bad weather conditions, breakdowns, maintenance and emergencies?.....Hmmmm..... Three weeks ago I floated around off Nassau for 90 minutes on Powerboat Adventures.The Captain said he had NO idea why the 3 jet engines shut down...At near dark, I found out that they had RUN OUT OF GAS😳😳 returning from Exuma.

Olderme 6 years ago

What is the government budget for the out islands to monitor quality control of private charter vessels and aircraft? The objective of tourist and foreign investors cultivation is that as many Islanders as possible have opportunity for honest livelihood as a biproduct. So fiscal budget should offset resources to improve regulation of a viable business sector. However focus is extended recurrent debt and inadequate return to communities development. While this incident is so sad, mishaps of some nature are inevitable on occasion. The need for improved quality control and emergency management in the tourist business off-spin should raise opportunity to promote partnerships between local government, business operators, Ministries of Tourism, Transportation and foreign investors. A joint response should cater to beneficial research, resources, preventive policy & action to benefit safety of clients and operators. My thought is encourage operators to organise the fiscal budget response is lacking and Police investigation/ disciplinary action offers limited satisfaction to the bereaved, injured and community. Exuma / Bahamas, move to standards for optimal safety awareness & well-being of all visiting and living in the Bahamas in general.

BMW 6 years ago

Condolences to the family! A tragic accident. Any boater with a lick of common sense can tell you what happened. Gas vapor is highly explosive and can be ignited by a very small spark or even static electricity. Lack of maintanence simple as that.

joeblow 6 years ago

I hope this boat owner has liability insurance. They are about to enter a legal nightmare the likes of which has never been seen!

bogart 6 years ago

Deepest heart felt sympathy to family of the deceased and all accident victims wishing them a speedy recovery.

proudloudandfnm 6 years ago

Never ever take tourists to the PMH!! Why would you take tourists to that nasty, crowded death trap?!?!?

ThisIsOurs 6 years ago

Actually for "some" surgeries, that "death trap" is the better hospital and a good option. I know a few years ago the Pediatric intensive care was the best place for ill babies, I dont know the situation today. But Charles Sealey echoed that sentiment just last week, he said the two hospitals work together because due to economies of scale, neither can offer everything to everybody. (I'm paraphrasing what he said.)

sheeprunner12 6 years ago

Worst than your Rand??????? ......... You are really bitter!!!!!!!!

becks 6 years ago

Gasoline vapors and a bilge pump go boom. Happens all the time.

sirD 6 years ago

One female dead and a 22 yr old female who is a dancer lost her legs, not going to well on the USA news soon

ashley14 6 years ago

No it hasn't. Still on the news. The families won't let this go away. People's lives were changed forever and of course one life lost.

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