‘She was an angel’: Family struggles to pay for grandmother’s funeral after Blue Lagoon boating incident

The family of 75-year-old Gayle Jarrett, the woman who died in a boat mishap in the Bahamas last week, is in a financial struggle as they prepare to bury her.

Granddaughter Kayla Estep says the family is struggling to find the resources to bury Jarrett.

Estep who accompanied her on the Blue Lagoon excursion boat with seven other family members before it sank in waters just thirty minutes after departure, organized a GoFundMe, hoping to raise $2000 for the burial.

“As of right now, this is a financial struggle for us all.

“My grandma wanted to be buried in Montana with her parents. However we are from Colorado and would like to do the funeral in Montana but [we] also would like to have a memorial in Colorado for those that can’t make it to Montana,” Estep said.

Jarrett described as benevolent, had used her inheritance money to take the family on a five-day cruise aboard Royal Caribbean, and Nassau was only her second stop before the tragedy.

“She was giving, she gave and gave and gave.”

Jarrett, wearing an oxygen tank, was also the only passenger who died among the 119 others scrambling as the boat tilted in the choppy seas and eventually sunk before passengers were rescued.

“She was basically an angel on Earth. She had the biggest heart.

“She believed in God like no other.”

Estep said Jarrett was like a second mother and a best friend.

“Her and I just loved shopping together, that was one of our favorite things to do together.”

They were originally supposed to get on a different boat, but that one was too full for their family.

According to Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander, the autopsy report revealed her death was not due to drowning but some other situation not explained.

Her husband, also on the ferry, was seen weeping over her body.

The family said the accident was preventable. Blue Lagoon said it is undertaking a “rigorous investigation.”

‘My grandmother’s death was preventable’: Family speaks after tragic boating incident in the Bahamas

The grand-daughter of 75-year-old Gayle Jarrett who died when a Blue Lagoon boat capsized in the Bahamas, contends her death was preventable.

“That’s up to whoever owns the ferry that the crew is properly prepared for an accident, and they were not prepared for this,” Kayla Estep told CBS News.

Jarrett was the sole passenger on the excursion boat to die as 118 other passengers scurried to stay afloat as the boat sank in waters near Blue Lagoon, just 30 minutes after they set sail on Tuesday.

Jarrett in the bottom deck with Estep and seven other family members, was wearing an oxygen device on her back at the time of the incident when it got caught around a metal as water flooded the sinking vessel.

“Even though she could go without oxygen, the fear I think took over, because the waves kept coming in through the window and taking my grandma and my grandpa underwater, over and over, and my grandmother was stuck,” Estep said.

Just Thursday, two days after the terrifying incident, Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander in a press conference revealed that Jarrett of Broomfield, did not drown, according to autopsy results. He did not specify the exact cause of death, though.

“There was nothing to cut, no emergency supplies on that ferry,” Estep insisted.

“The very first thing I did was throw a life vest on my grandma.”

Social media videos show a teetering boat as passengers stood on the left side screaming and outfitted with life vests.

“She ended up sliding down to the right side where all the water was.”

“All of the passengers were waiting for crew instruction, and we didn’t get it. Then, one person jumped off the top floor and we all followed,” Estep said.

While scrambling to get her children and other family members off the boat, Estep’s grandfather and father stayed behind, trying to get Jarrett out.

Estep said the captain also tried to assist.

Blue Lagoon said on Sunday, it has launched a “rigorous and independent forensic investigation.”

Featured Image: Gayle Jarrett is shown in happier times

What to know about the capsized boat that killed an American woman near Blue Lagoon Island

Cruise ship passenger Brittanie Crippin was on board the ill-fated ferry boat on Tuesday as it sunk in waters near Paradise Island off Blue Lagoon Island.

Mourning the 75-year-old woman killed during the mishap, Crippin said the captain and crew of the snorkeling vessel operated by Blue Lagoon, seemed clueless.

A man cries over the body of the woman who died during the incident

“The captain and crew had no idea what to do. The captain was laughing as it sank, gave no instructions [on] what to do, the crew didn’t help at all,” she lamented.

Video circulating social media shows a crowded boat as passengers congregate on one side of the vessel attempting to level the craft as the other side descends deeper into the water.

“Our boat is sinking,” one woman who says she was on the top floor of the double-decker, calmly states as other passengers scream. They are all adorned with life vests and some jump into the water as it sinks further.

“Oh sh—t,” one passenger yells.

The boat of 100 passengers left the ferry dock at 9:30 am for Blue Lagoon Island, but half an hour later, it ran into trouble in the rough seas and began to take on water.

Crippin said the weather was good despite reports of bad weather on Tuesday. “Everyone was crying and screaming for help.

“Wild times in the Bahamas.

“There were lots of life vests aboard. No one had life vest on until it started to sink.”

Chad Schissel, another passenger believed the captain turned too quickly and the waves capsized the boat. “The crew freaked out more than the passengers. [They] must have been trained very well,” he said sarcastically.”

Kissy Schissel added that “the wave hit the front of the boat and sunk us under.”

The boat remained partially submerged since the water depth was reportedly only 20 feet deep.

Jamie Diliberto, a Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas passenger, said the victim was a fellow passenger. He could not contain his emotions, “I am crying.”

Passengers were later rescued by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Blue Lagoon, and other vessels in the area.

The victim was visiting on a five-day cruise from Colorado. The Bahamas was her second stop. The exact cause of death remains unknown.

The featured picture shows Kissy Schissel after the ordeal.