Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

darin

I was on the Cayman Capsized Boat

Recommended Posts

I was on this tour with my wife, three daughters, their best friend, brother in law and my pregnant sister in law. I have to tell you that this is the most traumatic experience I have ever had in my life.

 

I am not sure where these people are getting their information from; I attended two meetings with Costa reps and the Captain of the Costa Mediterranea –I never once heard the mention of people suing Costa – What was requested was that Costa assist in helping us get our items replaced – Costa’s position is that it is the tour operators responsibility to take care of this – not Costa. We booked with Costa, and I expect them to take care of my damaged and lost items. Costa even gave us a letter explaining that this was an “Independent Tour” and that it was the tour operator’s responsibility to make things right with us.

 

Let me give you some facts:

 

The crew was inexperienced – many passengers kept commenting on the water on board the boat – their response was “we can take on a lot more water”

 

One of the crewmembers was from Argentina – he could not effectively communicate with the two other crewmembers. The Captain joked about the lack of communication skills during the introduction – I watched the crew member from Argentina motion to the Captain who was on the deck above that he was concerned about the water below.

 

When the boat flipped, I was standing in 6-8” of water – I was walking to towards the back of the boat with my two oldest daughters and their friend. I heard a lady scream “oh my god we are going to flip” and in a matter of seconds we did. There was no wind, there was not a sudden movement of people – there was just a tremendous amount of water on board, the weight of the water finally caused the boat to set low enough for the sea to catch it.

 

This was not a “Slow process of taking on water and gradually falling in the water”. You were immediately thrown into the side of the boat or out into the sea. Both my wife and I have bruises from the sudden sinking.

 

I went under water along with my two daughters and their friend, when we came up out of the water there was a barrier between us. The girls were petrified – it was if they could not think or understand what had just happened – I pulled all three girls through the metal divider – It was chaos – everyone was screaming help, calling out for people – I found my wife, youngest daughter and in-laws 10-15 feet away from the boat. I instructed the girls to swim over to them.

 

My family was picked up by a local person from the island (Jeff) – he had a float tube with a rope attached – my brother in-law and myself swam back to the boat twice to help people – I was not clear if the boat was going to flip over on top of us – people were petrified – they were refusing to let go of the portion of the boat sticking out of the water – I personally placed several people on this float. People were still screaming, looking for their loved ones. By this time the entire area around the boat was covered with diesel fuel and oil – that is what we were swimming in. Debris was everywhere – it looked as if a bomb had gone off.

 

Where was the crew? They were sitting on the piece of the boat that was still sticking out of the water. I have photos of this from a person who was on another ship that had taken the Stingray City tour. The crew did NOTHING to help – it was all the passengers helping out one another.

 

Not everyone had life vests on – my youngest daughter included. The first life vest we found for her did not work – the second one did. I assisted one other person whose vest would not hold air. My vest took on water – although it still functioned.

 

Once we returned to the ship I was informed by the Port Agent that he would have to escort me to the local Police station to fill out a report due to the lost Passports. I spent the rest of the day at the police department getting the necessary paperwork. I was the last person on the ship – while waiting for the tender to return – I observed a Cayman official try to return several containers of items that were recovered from the incident. The security official with Costa refused to take them back to the ship.

 

Once I retuned to the ship, the crew explained that the Cayman police needed a report from me – I was taken to a room where officials were taking reports from people who were on the tour. There were several officers from the ship that were insistent that the police hurry with their reports, as the ship needed to leave the port.

 

In closing – this was the scariest incident I have ever experienced in my life. I thank God that everyone survived. In the future I would suggest for all to deal with facts and not here say. Your comments about suing have prompted a number of responses, again, just for the record I was there and never heard anyone mention suing. The reason that people wanted to have closure with Costa was that they live all over the world – Russia, France, and Canada.

 

darinhill@independence.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... I'm glad to hear you and your family came thru relatively safe!

 

I'm sure those you helped would say " THANKS!"

 

Great Job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so glad your family is safe. What a frightening experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad your family is ok. Just wondering how were you bruised if you were not in the boat at the time???

 

 

 

 

 

When the boat flipped, I was standing in 6-8” of water – I was walking to towards the back of the boat with my two oldest daughters and their friend. I heard a lady scream “oh my god we are going to flip” and in a matter of seconds we did. There was no wind, there was not a sudden movement of people – there was just a tremendous amount of water on board, the weight of the water finally caused the boat to set low enough for the sea to catch it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shouldn't speak for the OP, but I think the 6 - 8" of water he was standing in was in the boat?? That's the way I understood it anyway. Hopefully he will post more. What an absolutely awful experience. As a parent, I can just begin to imagine what how frantic he and his wife must have been over the safety of their children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the boat flipped, I was standing in 6-8” of water – I was walking to towards the back of the boat with my two oldest daughters and their friend. I heard a lady scream “oh my god we are going to flip” and in a matter of seconds we did. There was no wind, there was not a sudden movement of people – there was just a tremendous amount of water on board, the weight of the water finally caused the boat to set low enough for the sea to catch it.

 

OMG!I AM GLAD NOBODY GOT INJURED.I MISSED THE OINT HOW?? ALL THIS WATER GOT TO THE BOAT????I KNOW YOU CAN WALK IN STINGRAY CITY ,ITS NOT DEEP,OR ITS HAPPEND BEFOR YOU GOT THERE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was standing in 6-8" of water inside of the boat (on the left side). We are not sure were this water had come from, but the boat was obviously taking on water somewhere, and it was not being pumped out.

 

When we took off from the pier initially, we noticed about 1" of water standing on the left side of the boat, and the boat actually was leaning slightly to the left. We didn't think that this was of any concern, as we felt the tour guides would have noticed this if it were a problem.

 

Our severe bruising came from the fall as many people were either at the front of the boat or on the right side, so when the boat flipped, people fell on to the railings surrounding the boat (some people fell 10 feet on to the railings before being engulfed by the ocean). My pregnant sister-in-law and my youngest daughter fell from the highest point on the boat as it flipped.

 

We are very fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed...we all must have some incredible Gaurdian Angels watching over us!

 

We do hope that anyone considering using this Kirk Tours will think twice before going out with this company; we were told that all crew members were certified in first-aid and CPR, yet as mentioned before, the crew climbed onto the boat and sat for help, never once rendering aid to any passenger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darin I am litarly shocked,what an awfull story.

How is the expecting lady ?

I can't imagine how you all are cooping.but I know

that in such times ,you can be very brave !!

BRAVO !

Flying Dutchlady

 

/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted on the other site where you told of this--AGAIN--I am just horrified as to what you went thru with everyone else & again I am sure those you helped would say THANK YOU!! Now to find out your SIL fell from the highest point--I sure hope she got checked out on ship & at home about how the baby is thru this..how far pg is she? Even the triaman(sp) we went on from ship to Dunn's Falls had a VERY young crew & I wondered if they would know what to do--as we had to go out further & it WAS rough out there on our way back--it was NOT a good ride coming back til we got closer to ships & pier..they just kept trying to get drinks for everyone..is that called keeping everyone happy & not to panic?? Although I do not think we were over loaded--we had quite a few--but it seemed fine--'cept for those in front got SOAKED--I assume waves were over 5 feet.--again tho once we got to go the same direction as the land it was better--but not heading out to sea to get beyond the ships in anchor. Again THANK YOU from those you helped who may not have been able to find you & thank you personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was standing in 6-8" of water inside of the boat (on the left side). We are not sure were this water had come from, but the boat was obviously taking on water somewhere, and it was not being pumped out.

 

When we took off from the pier initially, we noticed about 1" of water standing on the left side of the boat, and the boat actually was leaning slightly to the left. We didn't think that this was of any concern, as we felt the tour guides would have noticed this if it were a problem.

 

Our severe bruising came from the fall as many people were either at the front of the boat or on the right side, so when the boat flipped, people fell on to the railings surrounding the boat (some people fell 10 feet on to the railings before being engulfed by the ocean). My pregnant sister-in-law and my youngest daughter fell from the highest point on the boat as it flipped.

 

We are very fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed...we all must have some incredible Gaurdian Angels watching over us!

 

We do hope that anyone considering using this Kirk Tours will think twice before going out with this company; we were told that all crew members were certified in first-aid and CPR, yet as mentioned before, the crew climbed onto the boat and sat for help, never once rendering aid to any passenger.

 

WOW!SO BOAT HAD PROBLEM FROM THE BEGINNING:mad: I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS DIFEND CRUISE LINES,BUT THIS TIME SHOME ONE SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR THIS :mad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry to hear of your misfortune, but relieved that no one was seriously hurt! I can only imagine how frightening that must've been for all involved. As you said, your Guardian Angels were definitely with you! I do have a question for you, though... You said Costa wouldn't take responsibility because it was an "independent" tour? Can one assume, then, that you did NOT book it through Costa? If that is the case - just as in the tragedy involving the Celebrity passengers in South America - the cruise line is indeed NOT responsible for a shore excursion that is not booked through them (I'm pretty sure it's mentioned somewhere in the "terms and conditions" section of your cruise ticket/contract?). Granted, Celebrity did an exemplary job in handling the tragedy their passengers were involved in; but they didn't have to go to the lengths they did, or at least, were not legally required to. I think ALL cruise lines could learn a lesson from Celebrity in how to handle such incidents; hopefully, you were treated with great care and compassion by Costa, regardless of how it was booked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your sentiments of concern! My sister-in-law was taken to the hospital in Grand Cayman, and the baby is OK!

 

This was an excursion booked through Costa...I have always assumed these excursions were thoroughly reviewed by the ship, and this one probably was as well. The problem is, Costa can not inspect each and every boat or tour before each excursion. It is up to the independent operator to ensure the safety of it's passengers, and to ensure its crew is qualified.

 

I have pictures that a lady on another tour took after the accident. I will try to figure out how to attach them.

 

I need to say a huge "thank-you" to the couple that raced over in their speed boat to help. "Jeff" and his family were the first on the scene (arriving approx. 5 minutes after the boat flipped) and immediately pulled the kids and my wife and sister-in-law onto their small boat. This family then aided in the rescue by throwing their float tube into the water, and allowing people to hang on until more help arrived. This family had very small children of their own, and I know how tempting it could have been to immediately head back to shore instead of aiding in the rescue, possibly risking their children.

 

"Jeff", I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart; you showed incredible kindness and compassion for your fellow man!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

darin, you need to also post this on the Grand Cayman board as well so cruisers on other lines will see this. A lot of the cruise lines use the same operations, so I would hate to see somebody on RCCL or Carnival choose an excursion by the same company.

 

What was the exact title of your cruise line excursion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Darin - Thank goodness everyone's all right! Thanks for sharing your story, and for letting us know that it was a shore excursion booked through the cruise line. You're right: They can't possibly inspect every tour boat or bus or whatever mode of transportation is used before each use, and I know that generally speaking, the tour operators cruise lines use are thoroughly vetted. That being said, I don't know the fine legal lines of where their (Costa's) responsibilty begins and ends, but hopefully you and your companions on the tour would be entitled to some sort of compensation...at least a refund of the shore excursion you didn't even get? Did your sister-in-law have travel insurance, or did the tour operator take care of her hospitalization? Thanks again for sharing, and wishing you and yours all the best...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh my gosh, we were on the same excusion, but a different boat and we were all wondering what happened and if anyone got hurt. We asked our driver once we got back on the bus and he said it was all over the island news!!!!

 

We knew something was wrong, as the ship was almost 2 hours late leaving port and we thought it definaltey had to be Costa pax. There was only one other ship in port (AIDA).

 

Glad that you are all ok, they had us sign a waiver on our stingray excusion and my husband and I did not sign. It wouldn't matter as i'm sure if would of been lost in the sea if we flipped over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20060411_1_TOPsunrunnerSTORY.jpg

 

This photo is from the Caymanian Compass newspaper. You can read 3 articles dealing with Friday's capsize of the Rumrunner. Read more at this link and then enter "capsize" as a keyword in the "Search" section: http://www.caycompass.com/CFPCClocalnews.shtml

 

There is no mention of the boat taking on water. Some of you may wish to write both the investigating department as well as the newspaper to set the record straight if you disagree.

 

BobK/Orlando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The news story said that you got a refund and a free cruise. Is this true or just bs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Costa:

“The company fully assisted and continues to support the affected passengers. Guests partaking in the shore excursion received a full excursion refund and will receive a 100 per cent cruise credit for a future Costa Caribbean cruise.

 

“In addition, Costa will be compensating these guests for the replacement of personal property lost at the time.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

attachment.php?attachmentid=19839&stc=1&d=1144811979

 

This is a photo of the boat right after it capsized. I am not sure how to link so all can see the other photos I have. (A person we met back on the ship was on another excursion and took several photos of the incident) You can see people clinging to the top of the boat, several heads on the horizon. May family is further out to the right; you cannot see them in this photo.

 

This photo looks a little different than the one that the newspaper published. At the time, I thought the boat was going to flip and cover all the people clinging to the side of the boat. I suspect that after the boat sat in the water for a while, it settled. You can clearly see that it appeared that the boat looked like it was going to completely roll over on everyone.

 

Yes, we did book this tour through Costa. The name of the tour was Reef and Rays. Yes, Costa did refund the cost of the excursion. No I have not heard anything about a future cruise credit.

 

I will also post this on the Cayman Board – Kirk Sea Tours was the name of the excursion operator.

 

As for the water on board - every person that was on the lower deck (my eight family members included) reported water to the crew and also to the authorities that took our statements back on the ship - I am not sure why the newspaper is not mentioning this?

 

My biggest concern is that corrective measures are taken everywhere, not just the Cayman Islands so that this never happens again. I am confident that if there had been elderly or very young children on board people would have died.

 

On the way back to the ship we had to take a tender, my wife was very upset, she asked me to check with the crew to see where the life jackets were. The crewmember smugly said not to worry we won’t need them. I quickly explained that we were on a boat that had just capsized; he then explained that the life jackets for everyone (both decks) were located on the top deck. Let me tell you, I do not believe this is acceptable – when our boat capsized it only took seconds and everyone was in the water.

1086317940_usinwater8.GIF.6770bf3c9025a51cadfcec88b04e4ae1.GIF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darin

 

I am glad to hear you and your family are OK. We took the Capt Bryan tour on March 10 this year and while on board I took this photo of a 34' charter boat that had probably 30 people on board - WAY overloaded, an accident ready to happen:

 

dscn10628fn.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darin - email me your pictures and i can post them with links so everyone can see, my email is...

 

mijitiro at aol dot com (typed as such to foil email address harvesting bots)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Costa Does Not Care About Their Passengers. We Were On The Same Tour, But Were Left In The Parking Lot For 45 Minutes As They Had Overbooked The Excursion And Did Not Have Enough Buses. We Were Put On A Bus That Was Falling Down. The Tires Were So Bald You Could Almost See Air. When We Said Something To The Costa Rep, She Said It Was Perfectly Safe And We Could Stay But We Would Not Get Our Money Back. We Only Had 5 Or 10 Minutes At Each Stop Because They Were Going To Be Late Getting To The Boat. When We Got To The Boat, They Counted Heads And With About 10 People Still On The Dock They Said They Were Full. The Costa Rep Argued With Them And They Let Everybody On. People Were Standing For The 30 Minutes Out There. Not Enough Jackets To Go Around. As We Arrived We Saw The Boat That Flipped Going By. Everybody Laughed And Said It Could Have Been Worse. It Looked Like They Were Standing On Top Of Each Other. Way Overloaded. As They Started To Drift Toward The Deep Ocean, Our Captain Started To Panic. Then The Boat Just Started Rolling. People Everywhere In The Water. The Lady On Our Boat That Handles The Stingrays Started Swimming Out, But She Was Just Worried About The Crew And Stated That. We Got Back Just In Time To Take A Tender Back To The Boat, No Shopping, No Site Seeing. The Next Day When I Tried To Talk To The Shore Excursion Office, Their Rep (anna Marie - Run If You See Her On Your Excursion) Lied And Then Said The Only Thing Costa Guarantees Is That You Will Get Back To The Boat On Time, Not Your Safety. (her Words, Not Mine) Her Comment Was You Pay Your Money And Take Your Chances. I Told Her, No I Could Have Done That On The Peir And Paid A Lot Less. She Said The Shore Excursion Supervisors Would Contact Me Later That Day. No Contact. I Would Never Sail On Costa Again, Even If They Gave Me A Free One. And Before You Get Started, No I Didn't Request My Money Back For The Excursion, Just An Apology For Putting Me And My Family In Danger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad to hear you and your family are OK. We took the Capt Bryan tour on March 10 this year and while on board I took this photo of a 34' charter boat that had probably 30 people on board - WAY overloaded, an accident ready to happen:

 

 

WOW!THATS A SMALL BOAT:confused: WHEN WE HAD SAME EXCURSION 2 YEARS AGO WITH COSTA WE HAD VERY,VERY NICE BIG BOAT AND NOT SOO MUCH PEOPLE.IT WAS PLANTY OF SPACE FOR EVERYONE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×