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Wisconsin woman among survivors of deadly boat capsizing in Bahamas

Wisconsin woman survives deadly Bahamas ferry disaster
Wisconsin woman survives deadly Bahamas ferry disaster 00:37

NASSAU, Bahamas — A southwestern Wisconsin woman was able to escape with her life after a tourist boat capsized Tuesday morning off the coast of the Bahamas.

The Nassau Guardian reports a 75-year-old woman from Colorado died in the accident, and two others were hurt.

Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings of the Royal Bahamas Police Force told Eyewitness News Bahamas the vessel began to take on water at about 10 a.m. due to rough seas.  

Kelly Schissel, of Platteville, Wisconsin, posted videos to Facebook showing the chaos as the boat, described as a double-decker pleasure craft, started sinking into the Caribbean Sea after leaving Blue Lagoon Island, just northeast of Nassau.

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Kelly Schissel/Facebook

Schissel's videos show distressed passengers huddled on one side of the boat before they all eventually jump into the sea with life jackets and floatation devices.

Schissel wrote in a Facebook post that more than 100 people evacuated and swam to other nearby boats.

"Random fisherman, other transfer ferries, and (eventually) rescue boats came to our aid," Schissel wrote.

Schissel says both boat staff and workers at her resort "didn't really know what to do," and she says she stepped up to help in the rescue effort.

"We were the first boat to get back to the island, so I instructed everyone to a meeting spot, and as other rescue boats came in, I did the same for them," she wrote.

Skippings says survivors were brought to Margaritaville on Paradise Island. The exact cause of the capsizing is still unclear.

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