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Harrowing footage as tourist ferry capsizes, leaving one dead

Passenger Kelly Schissel said people only grabbed life jackets after seeing staff put them on themselves.

An elderly woman has died after a ferry she was travelling on capsized, plunging dozens of tourists into the ocean.

Terrifying footage shows passengers gripping onto the double decker boat wearing orange life jackets as the vessel fills up with water and begins to sink onto its side, forcing over 100 passengers to flee. Dozens ended up in the water with many scrambling towards a nearby boat, while others attempted to keep afloat in the "rough waters".

Left, the ferry capsized on its side. Right, passengers splash in the water.
Dozens of passengers plunged into the water after the ferry capsize. Source: TikTok

The privately operated ferry was travelling to the Blue Lagoon island in the Bahamas when it encountered an issue half an hour into the trip on Tuesday morning (local time).

According to local news a US woman, 75, died during the capsize event.

Ferry passenger recalls crew 'freaking out'

US woman Kelly Schissel was sitting on the upper deck of the boat and claims there was no clear instruction from crew members, leaving many passengers to question the severity of the situation.

"That's when I started looking over the edge and you could see that there was water coming into the boat ... Then a crew member that was downstairs ran upstairs and was crying, freaking out, absolutely balling, grabbing a lifejacket," she said online.

It was only when the crew member put on a lifejacket that passengers began grabbing their own to do the same, she recalled.

"We were kind of waiting for staff to tell us what to do, which they never did," she claimed.

Schissel claims it was only once a passenger decided to jump into the water in an attempt to flee the sinking boat that others followed suit.

Left, the 'Blue Lagoon Island' boat visibly on its side on the water. Right, Kelly Schissel speaks to camera after the incident.
Kelly Schissel claims passengers had no clear instruction from the boat crew. Source: TikTok

"A lot of people were just trying to stay above the water even with their life vests on," she said.

It is still unknown what caused the ferry to capsize and whether any Australians were on board. Yahoo News Australia has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs which is working to understand if any Australians were involved.

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Yahoo Australia