Casino shuttle boat engulfed by flames, dozens safely escape; 1 dead

16 January, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Pasco County Sheriff's Office

Coast Guard investigators are saying very little about their investigation of a casino shuttle boat fire in the waters off of Port Richey Sunday that killed one passenger, injured others and forced 50 people to abandon ship.

Investigators said that at one point there were more than 40 people in the water after the boat had caught fire.

Santangelo, who is originally from Huntington but now lives in Port Richey, guided all the shivering, wet passengers into his garage to help them get warm.

"It was so windy and they were soaking wet", said Santangelo, adding a woman collapsed when she reached the shore and vomited. Only 15 were taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, including chest pain and smoke inhalation.

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In 2004, the NTSB investigated a fire aboard another Port Richey casino shuttle owned by Suncruz called the Express Shuttle II.

Mcaffee's husband Darrell said that will be the last time they press their luck for a while. Its crew attempted to turn the shuttle back to shore and brought it close to a residential community, said Gerard DeCanio Port Richey Chief of Police according to The Tribune-Review.

The passengers had to jump about 12 feet into the chilly waters, and then received help from area residents who offered them towels, socks and water to drink.

Authorities said everyone on board survived.

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Schroeder spoke highly of her time on board the Tropical Breeze almost two decades ago.

Culbreath said he doesn't know how to swim and he was afraid to get into the water. Chief DeCanio said the captain nearly ran the boat aground as he tried to get close to the shore. "The fire was moving fast".

The Sun Cruz Casino boat is one of a number of shuttles serving Florida's Tropical Breeze Casino. "It was a hard jump".

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