One person is dead and 14 out of 49 people are injured after the cruise boat they were onboard caught fire. The passengers in Port Richey had to jump into chilly water and fifteen of them were rushed to hospital.
According to neighbor Bakr Jandali, people had started jumping out one by one, and the fire had gotten really quick, really fast. His family called 911 and helped passengers wading to shore, through water 8-10 feet deep.
The casino shuttle boat burnt to the hull. The Pasco County Fire Rescue said it took people about a mile off shore. According to them the boat captain had realized there was engine trouble early on and turned back.
Passengers rescued left bundled up, due in part to neighbors who donated jackets and blankets.
Frigid air and cold water had added panic to the rescue, but everyone was safe. Chief Jerry DeCanio said that if they had been out any further that could have been a tragedy.
He added they were still working to find out what caused the boat fire.