Nearly 30 people were forced to jump off their tour boat into shark-infested waters in the Galapagos Islands after a fire broke out on board, in a terrifying ordeal that was caught on camera.
Last week, 16 vacationers and most of the crew members who were on a cruise through the Latin American islands were forced to grab life jackets and jump overboard when their boat filled with smoke.
Lisa Bartley, from Los Angeles ABC Station KABC, was on board and immediately started filming as the chaos broke out.
- 1September 17, 2018
- 3May 29, 2019
"It was the perfect trip until the last night when the boat caught on fire," Bartley told "Good Morning America."
Barely able to breathe, the passengers were left with no option but to evacuate, even though they had seen sharks in the water earlier that day, according to Bartley.
Dana Kirk, one of the passengers, said that she had to "jump off from the back of the boat."
"All hell broke loose, smoke filled the boat, they told us there was a fire in the engine," she added.
Once in the water, they said their two life rafts would not deploy at first.
Kirk described the relief when the rafts finally did deploy.
"Once we got in the life raft I knew we were going to be safe," she said.
Despite the panic, Bartley said, "The crew was so amazing."
"One of them actually took off his sweatshirt and gave it to Dana and some of the other girls who were cold," she added.
After bobbing in the water and another two and a half hours on the rafts, they said a ship finally answered their SOS message and took them on board.