Travelers from Georgia depend on transportation service providers to maintain safety. When something goes wrong, however, passengers might be left to fend for themselves as appeared to be the case when a fire rapidly consumed a casino shuttle boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the crew tried to reach land, the flames forced passengers to jump 12 feet into waist-deep water. Fifteen passengers eventually needed hospitalization, and one 42-year-old woman died shortly after the incident. Except for the woman who died, hospital officials reported that the other victims were expected to survive.

The local police chief said that boat had been transporting people to a casino cruise ship when engine problems began. A representative from the company operating the vessel said that the boat had appeared fully operational and the cause of the fire remained unknown.

Local people watching passengers jump into the cold water rushed to provide towels and water to the survivors as they came ashore. The Coast Guard also responded with every boat available in the area. An officer from the Coast Guard said that the cause of the fire was not immediately apparent but the investigation would continue.

People who are harmed as a result of dangerous conditions on another party’s property might have the grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner. In order to be successful, it will have to be demonstrated that the owner was or should have been aware of the hazard and failed to take corrective measures. An attorney can often be of assistance in this regard.

Source: NPR, “Woman Dies After Florida Boat Fire Sends Dozens Of Panicked Passengers Overboard“, Amy Held, Jan. 15, 2018