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Published on : Monday, September 11, 2017
Irma had claimed 22 lives so far here, amidst violent winds running at 185 mph.
In such a devastating scenario, vacationers were left in stunned horror when staff onboard the Marriott ship said that they were incapable of accommodating people who had not booked an accommodation of Marriott. Thereafter, per lights were turned off in an effort to scatter away the stranded group.
Then, as darkness descended and fierce winds from the approaching Hurricane Jose started picking up, tourists turned to social media platforms to express their disgust at being left on the dock while the rescue boat departed with a reported 200 free seats.
A major portion of the US Virgin island had been on the receiving end of agony as they were deprived of water supply, gas and electricity.
The roadways became inaccessible while debris from falling buildings and trees littered the streets and a part of the International Airport terminal was torn to the ground. Furthermore, tourists were left desperate for water and food after the local hotels and shops were out of provisions and several hotel rooms were flooded owing to it.
Naomi Ayala was among the 35 people left behind on St. Thomas.
In a certain video showing the moment the ship had departed, she can be heard exclaiming how the ship shut off its lights to make the tourists leave the place.
The video also has her expressing her anguish about the absence of food and water. Naomi, finally, however luckily was able to procure safe passage to Puerto Rico via a private evacuation boat.
Later, upon conducting a research on the name of the rescue boat, Ferrie Del Caribe, she discovered that it could actually hold as much as 1,800 passengers.
Cody Howard was another terror-struck passenger said that the staff onboard the ship got in touch with the CEO to check if passengers could be allowed to board. He added that the staff of the rescue boat were not authorized to let the 35 people board it. He went on to say how the Marriott ship refused humanitarian aid even to the elderly, children and women.
In their official statement on their website, Marriott claimed that they had plans aimed to rescue their customers.
Marriott added that they are closely in contact with the regional authorities and would act according to the instructions laid down by them, as demanded by the situation. Thereafter, in a direct response to claims stating tourists were left stranded on the dock in St. Thomas, Marriott mentioned that there was a ‘tight window’ to pick up the passengers and leave for the safety of Puerto Rico and though they personally were keen to rescue the tourists, the staff on board were not authorized to do so.