Passengers from the Cleveland Tiki Barge crash consider legal action

The U.S. Coast Guard says the Nautica Queen was moored at the time of the accident
Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The captain from The Cleveland Tiki Barge was fired but now passengers from the ride that day are coming forward with concerns.

“We’re very fortunate that someone wasn’t killed and hurt a whole lot worse. I’m not minimizing none of the accidents but thank God nobody died or had to be life-flighted out of there,” said personal injury attorney, Tim Misny.

He said the crash is raising red flags.

The U.S. Coast Guard said one person suffered minor injuries after the captain of the Tiki Barge collided with the Nautica Queen on May 22 on the Cuyahoga River in the Flats.

The Nautica Queen was moored at the time of the accident.

One passenger, Alexis Torres, told 19 News several people are not happy with the way things were handled and are considering legal action.

She said after the crash, there was no explanation.

“We just backed up really quick and then went forward and went back to the dock, and it was just silent. That whole maybe 2-3 minutes to get back to our dock, nothing was said. He was trying to get out of there fast. We had veggies and cheese sauce everywhere, and we’re all just like what is going on, and he just backed up and left,” she said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the crew tested negative for alcohol and there was one non-serious injury and some cosmetic damage.

However, Alexis and some others passengers said there’s more to the story.

“There’s at least seven people injured, lot of people had bruises, just bumping into people like from the fall, hitting the side of the boat, so I mean there were injuries. I just don’t like that it was hush hush, we got off the boat and they were loading the next party onto the boat, so we’re just supposed to leave?” she said.

Misny said he’s keeping eyes on this investigation.

“We need to get some people examined to see how they’re getting along but we also need to find out what the management did in terms of training and supervising because we can’t allow that to continue on because the next time an accident happens it could be a tragedy,” he said.

Owner, Brittany Orlando has stopped responding to 19 News requests for an on-camera interview.

[ Cleveland Tiki Barge returns for 2nd season, expands service to meet demand ]

The U.S. Coast Guard told 19 News this is still an open investigation.

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