Citrus County diver survives shipwreck

Local News

Crystal River, Fla. (WFLA) – A Citrus County woman is back home on dry land.

On a recent dive trip to the Galapagos Islands, the dive boat Holly Davis was on, ran aground and sank.

During her week of diving off the coast of Ecuador, Davis watched playful seals and giant whale sharks.

She also motored past “Darwin’s Arch” where wildlife congregates.

She stayed aboard the “Majestic Explorer” along with 13 other passengers.

On the last night, things got hairy.

“Woken by this just tremendous wham, wham, wham wham wham,” Davis said. “And I sat up and my cabin mate sat up and we looked at each other. It was like, that didn’t sound like water.”

It wasn’t water. The ship had run aground on rocks. Crew members sprang into action.

“They came up through the hallway just banging on doors, saying grab your passports. Grab your shoes. On deck now,” she said.

Davis and others scrambled to board two Zodiac Tenders, used for diving sessions.

“Spirits were really great,” she said. “We were joking around. We were thinking that the ship was gonna be okay.  And it ended up, it wasn’t.” 

She managed to shoot a picture, showing a dud flare lighting up the night sky and the ship, which eventually sank into the depths of the Pacific.

She and fellow passengers and the crew of 12 transferred to 8 boats over 10 hours to reach civilization.

Davis has high praises for the crew.

“They did a great job,” Davis said. “Things happen. It’s really rare that these things happen. But they happen and the crew training kicked in everything went just according to plan.” 

While many would call it quits and never do something like this again, that’s not Holly Davis’ attitude.

“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “I mean, it’s everything that they say it is in terms of being a bucket list destination.” 

Despite all the chaos, crew members managed to retrieve most of her personal items.

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