SoCal vacationers forced to jump overboard into shark-infested waters after boat catches fire

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A fire broke out aboard a small cruise boat in the Galapagos Islands last week forcing 16 passengers, including two friends from Southern California, to jump overboard.

"I didn't know if I was supposed to stay on board a burning boat or jump into the water with sharks," said Dana Kirk, a nurse who lives in Huntington Beach.

ABC7 Investigative Producer Lisa Bartley was on board and captured the chaos on her cellphone.

"We'd been swimming with sharks earlier that day, so we knew they were in the water," said Bartley.

Passengers and some crew members began swimming toward the nearest island, because the two life rafts did not initially inflate.

"Once we got in the life raft, I knew we were going to be safe," Kirk said.

Got a news tip? Email ABC7 Investigative Producer Lisa.Bartley@abc.com
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