EXCLUSIVE: Alleged personal account and video footage from aftermath of deadly boat explosion

EXCLUSIVE: Alleged personal account and video footage from aftermath of deadly boat explosion

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A woman who claims that she is a passenger on board the Nieuw Amsterdam crusie ship, where two crew members were killed after a steam pipe in the engine room reportedly exploded on Friday, March 22, 2024, told Eyewitness News (EWN) exclusively Friday evening that a “somber mood hangs over the ship in the aftermath of the fatal incident” and alleged that crew members have provided very little updates concerning what happened.

The female informant, who wished to remain anonymous, provided EWN with her account and exclusive video footage, which she said shows the bodies of the deceased being taken off the cruise ship and onto another vessel identified as “Anne Bonny,” Friday evening.

“It’s a very somber feeling throughout the boat. A lot of us feel like they downplayed the whole thing. This morning they acted like it was a small steam leak and no fire, all fire alarms were going off, but they just let us carry on,” she said.

“When we came back from our day at Half Moon Cay they delivered the shocking news.”

She continued, “There have been no updates as to what caused this tragedy, no mention of how old the crew members were, The Holland American cruise Director is Gage Griffin and he was visibly shaken by the whole thing. He could barely speak when he got up on stage to say a few words to the guest. He was crying a lot.”

According to our informant the vessel is allegedly carrying 2,100 passengers and 860 crew members.

She said, “I am on the cruise for another 7 days, others will exit tomorrow.”

The video footage the female informant provided showed what appeared to be two body bags being carried onto Anne Bonny. In the footage, which lasted approximately 59 seconds, a woman police officer, who appeared to be clad in the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) uniform, could be seen on the upper deck of Anne Bonny.

“They kicked off all guest off the upper decks so they couldn’t see the bodies being transported, but my room has a deck where I was able to see,” the female informant said.

She also told EWN, “The bodies have been transported off (the vessel to) Half Moon Cay.”

Half Moon Cay is a 2,400-acre private island retreat for passengers on Holland America’s cruises.

Authorities reported the incident to local media just before 3:00pm on Friday. But the female informant alleged that the incident happened Friday morning.

“The fire alarms sounded around 8:30 am; they didn’t treat it like a fire drill or nothing. The captain announced there’s a report of a fire but he’ll look into it and not to panic. Minutes later he said there is no fire and there’s a steam leak. We all got off the boat and everything was fine they treated it like it was nothing.”

“We got back on the boat at 2pm and it was around 4pm where the captain announced that two crew members lost their lives earlier. I don’t think someone died at 3:00 pm. That’s weird! That was also the time the ship was supposed to leave port. We were stuck here till around 6:00 pm.”

Police told EWN Friday evening that the incident is under active investigation.

The Nieuw Amsterdam crusie ship is Holland America’s second signature-class ship, and is the fourth ship to bear the name. The ship sails Mediterranean itineraries in spring and summer, then moves on to the Caribbean for the winter months.

It was built in 2010; however, there was no update on when it was last refurbished.

It is unclear if the ship will be able to sail to continue its voyage or if passengers will have to be taken to their place of origin by another vessel.

The cruise line, via a statement posted to its social media account, said, “We regret to share that while calling at Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas, there was an incident in an engineering space on board Nieuw Amsterdam, which sadly resulted in the death of two crew members.”

“The appropriate authorities were notified, and the cause of the incident is currently being investigated.”

The online post continued, “All of us at Holland America Line are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and prayers are with our team members’ families at this difficult time. The safety, security and welfare of all guests and crew are the company’s absolute priority. We are offering counseling services to team members who may have been affected by this incident.”

About Theo Sealy

Theo Sealy is an award-winning journalist who serves as senior broadcast reporter and weekend TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. He has achieved several career milestones, including his work as a field contributor with CNN, his coverage of four consecutive general elections, his production of several docuseries and his Bahamas Press Club Awards win for “Best Television News Story” in 2018.


So inappropriate! How would you feel if this was your family member and what should be private footage was out there for the world to see? And the comments about being downplayed. – what should they have done – cause panic on the ship when the problem was already solved?

This “informant” is really not telling the truth! We were well informed the WHOLE time! It is a tragedy to many! She really brought negativity to this horrible accident! When the captain announced to us what happened, he was choking back his tears….i feel it’s not our business to know the ages of the people who lost their lives…

This informant definitely had a different perspective than me and my family.
The announcements were timely and gave the appropriate amount of information.
She was right that the ship and crew were somber which is understandable.
The Captain handled it all very professionally, fighting back his emotions.

The crew handled it very respectfully and we are going another 7 days on the ship. Yes it was heartbreaking and sadly very tragic. The day was somber as it should have been. We grieve with the families and crew members. Thank you for the excellent handling of the tragic incident by the Captain and crew ❤️

I am ex crewmember from Indonesia and worked for the same company since 1983 till 2004.Nobody knows it was incident of human error or pure unexpected incident since there was no withness .But theprinciple point is,let us pray and put our thoughts to the passed away victims in hoping that God gives them the peaceful place in the heaven…and let their families deserve the appropriate compensation accordingly.

Absolutely ghoulish and disgusting. This informant should be ashamed of herself. I have only read the account and have no intention of watching a video of extreme poor taste.

I was aboard the ship at the time. We, the passengers were informed as much as needed for our safety and understanding. The Captain did a wonderful job while trying to withhold his obvious sadness. As a guest, I didn’t need to know their names or ages but was pleased that the Captain held a long moment of silence to offer our prayers for the men and their families.

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