A group of tourists claim that a rescue boat evacuating Marriott Hotel guests from the island of Saint Thomas refused to evacuate them as well because they had no reservations to the hotel.
Tourist Naomi Michial Ayala, accuses the hotel chain of not allowing non-guests on one of its rescue boats even though boat capacity was much larger than 30 persons, as the staff had said. The boat which was taking guests to shelter as Hurricane Jose was approaching had open seats when it left to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The angry tourist posted a video of the boat docked outside the hotel, saying that she and her friends are stranded on St. Thomas without food and water after facing Hurricane Irma two days ago. The hotel did not give them the permission to jump on the boat to San Juan.
The tourists had called the Coast Guard in Puerto Rico asking for help. An officer told them that a boat would leave the Marriott Hotel near the place they were booked at. They weren’t told that only Marriott guests will be allowed in.
When they arrived at the boat, staffers told them that Marriott guests had priority but they could get in line and wait to see if there would be any empty seats left. Another tourist confirmed the story on Facebook.
Cody Howard wrote in a Facebook post that Marriott left his group and 35 people on the island with 200 empty seats on board. Their crime? They didn’t have a hotel reservation.
The people in charge of evacuation called a Mariott manager to ask if they could take non-guests too, but the answer was that he did not want to take the liability. Ayala and her friends were taken to Puerto Rico on a private rescue boat.
Image Source: Flickr