Family of shark victim says company offered little help

July 09, 2019 - 6:44 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The family of a California woman killed in a shark attack while snorkeling in the Bahamas says the tour company did nothing to help rescue her and staff lacked even a basic first aid kit.

In a statement Tuesday, relatives of 21-year-old Jordan Lindsey called on tour companies to change their safety protocols and tourists to be more aware to "ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again."

"We would not be able to live with ourselves if we didn't speak out and later hear that another family suffered the same devastating loss," the statement said.

Lindsey, a student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, was on vacation with her family when she was attacked inside a roped-off snorkeling area during a day excursion to Rose Island on June 26, the statement said.

Lindsey and her mother, Kami, were a good distance away from other snorkelers, and there were no guides or staff members from the tour company, Sandy Toes, in the water with the tour group, the statement said.

To the family's knowledge, nobody saw a shark until the attack, according to the statement.

Kami Lindsey said she swam to her wounded daughter and thought a boat would come to take them from the water. But it didn't appear, she said. Two staff members who were on a hill told the pair to swim toward them "but a shark came between them and again attacked," she said in the family statement.

She dragged Jordan to shore, where staff members pulled them out of the water.

"There was no medical attention provided to Jordan," the statement said. "They had no first aid kit — no basic supplies for any type of injury. It felt like a lifetime as they waited for a boat to arrive."

A small boat finally arrived, but it lacked any medical or emergency supplies. A towel was used to cover Jordan's injured legs, the family said.

Jordan was pronounced dead at a hospital in Nassau.

Other family members hadn't gone snorkeling, and the statement said Sandy Toes never notified them of the attack.

"They overheard conversations from others that had been snorkeling and when they noticed people crying, realized the severity of what had happened and soon after, concluded that it was their precious Jordan who the snorkelers were crying for," the statement said.

The family said tour operations should be required in future to include someone whose job is to spot snorkelers in trouble and watch for predators. The family also wants companies to have clear plans in place for any emergency, to carry medical supplies aboard all tour boats and to require first-aid training for all staff.

An email to Sandy Toes seeking comment was not immediately returned. Their website is still taking reservations for Rose Island tours.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()