Yikes! A group of tourists to the Galapagos Islands recently jumped to shark-infested waters in the middle of the night to escape their small tour boat after it caught on fire. One passenger videotaped much of the terrifying ordeal with her cellphone, footage of which has since been viewed over 4,000 times on Twitter.
Last week, 16 passengers and 11 crew members aboard a small tour boat exploring the islands of the Ecuadorian province were forced to leap into unknown waters under the cover of darkness as flames burned their vessel, ABC 7 reports.
"I didn't know if I was supposed to stay on board a burning boat or jump into the water with sharks," passenger Dana Kirk said.
In footage obtained by ABC 7 investigative producer Lisa Bartley, who was traveling on the ship, passengers in life vests can be seen calmly exiting the small boat. Later, the group floated together in the Pacific Ocean, beneath a black night sky, making plans to seek safety.
"We'd been swimming with sharks earlier that day, so we knew they were in the water," Bartley later told the outlet.
Shockingly, the group’s two life rafts did not at first inflate, The Sun reports, forcing the passengers to swim together for an hour toward the nearest island.
"Keep together, grab each other's arms. We kick to the left,” a guide can be heard telling the group in Bartley’s video footage.
Eventually, the 27 people were able to inflate the rafts and get everyone out of the ocean safely.
"Once we got in the life raft, I knew we were going to be safe," Kirk told ABC.
Two and a half hours later, a sailboat responded to the group’s SOS call and all were saved from the high seas.
While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, as per TravelPulse, the tour boat is said to have been repaired and returned to service.