Florida Casino Boat Operator Faces Lawsuit over Fire

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A Florida casino boat company is officially being sued by one of the women who survived the recent fire on the company’s shuttle. Tropical Breeze Casino recently saw its shuttlecraft go up in flames as it was transporting gamblers out to the casino boat itself. Passengers had to jump overboard to escape the flames and unfortunately, one passenger was killed.

Casino boat fire operator sued by passenger

The casino boat operator whose shuttle vessel caught fire in January is being sued by one of the passengers who was onboard.

Casino Boat Shuttle Goes Up in Flames

The incident happened on the 14th of January. The Island lady, which is the name of the 72-foot shuttle vessel, had just left port Richey in Florida. It was heading out to the main casino boat, Tropical Breeze. Minutes after departing, a fire broke out, and passengers and crew were forced to abandon ship.

Several people had to be rushed to hospital to be treated for the injuries they sustained. Sadly, a 42-year old woman later passed away. The lawsuit against the casino boat company has been filed by a 65-year old passenger in the Pasco Circuit Court. The lawsuit alleges negligence resulted in the fire, which caused serious injury and is seeking $15 000.

Casino Boat Shuttle Captain’s Past Scrutinized

The incident with the casino boat shuttle is coming under intense investigation by the US Coast Guard, as well as the National Transport Safety Board. Many variables are still unknown at this stage, and the captain’s past is being called into question as well. The captain has a criminal record which includes a DUI, three citations for driving on a suspended driver’s license, a concealed weapon arrest, a misdemeanor marijuana conviction, and being held in contempt of court.

However, many believe his quick actions saved lives. As soon as the casino boat captain noticed an electrical problem, he immediately turned the boat around and headed closer to shore. He then grounded the shuttle in shallow water before issuing the order to abandon ship. Had he not done so, many more people could have died,

The shuttle had been in operation since 2015 and reportedly received a full inspection in March 2017. The coast guard has confirmed it held a valid inspection certificate and the captain had a valid license.