TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Investigators say a casino shuttle boat fire that killed one woman and injured 14 other people off Florida's Gulf Coast was caused by poor maintenance and the captain's failure to shut down the engine sooner.
The National Transportation Safety Board released a report this month outlining the factors that led to 42-year-old Carrie Dempsey's death and the destruction of the $450,000 boat. Authorities say about 50 passengers jumped into the chilly waters off Port Richey in January when the Island Lady caught fire. It was heading to a Tropical Breeze casino boat in the Gulf of Mexico, where gambling is legal.
Problems outlined in the NTSB report include lack of company guidance regarding engine high-temperature alarms, lack of fire detection in unmanned spaces, insufficient preventive maintenance and insufficient crew training.
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