Family of 21-Year-Old Killed by Sharks in Bahamas Speaks Out: 'No One Jumped in' to Help
Jordan Lindsey's family says staff with the Sandy Toes tour company did not have "basic safety measures" to help the woman after she was attacked by sharks
The family of the 21-year-old California woman fatally attacked by a group of sharks last month during a Bahamas vacation says employees of the group they were with were ill-equipped to deal with the situation.
Jordan Lindsey, of Torrance, was snorkeling with mom Kami Lindsey on June 26 in waters around Rose Island, a small island close to New Providence, when at least three sharks began biting her, her father, Michael Lindsey, told ABC News.
Her dad, siblings and girlfriend were in another area of the water.
Now, the family is urging tour groups in the Bahamas to adopt adequate emergency practices, alleging that staffers with the Sandy Toes excursion company did not immediately help during the attack.
“We are sharing our story out of concern for others who may be faced with a life-threatening incident while on vacation in the Bahamas,” the family wrote in a statement to PEOPLE. “Although nothing can change the outcome of the tragedy we’ve suffered, our hope in speaking out is that mandatory safety measures are put in place, so this is less likely to happen again.”
The family says not only did no staff members or guides enter the water with Jordan and Kami that day but that the pair was fairly far from other snorkelers and that no Sandy Toes employees entered the water when Jordan was attacked.
“No one jumped in,” the Lindsey family said in their statement. “Shockingly, no staff mobilized to assist in any way. As [Kami] swam to Jordan and told Jordan to try to swim toward her, she thought certainly a boat would come to whisk them out of the water and harm’s way, but that did not happen.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Sandy Toes said it would “again like to extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jordan Lindsey who recently passed away as a result of a shark attack in waters near Rose Island in The Bahamas.”
“All reasonable steps were taken to prevent this very unfortunate incident and our staff responded swiftly and in line with our emergency protocols and procedures,” the company said. “We continue to pray for the Lindsey family and all those who have been impacted by this tragic occurrence.”
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Ultimately, Kami was able to grab her daughter’s hand and drag her to the rocky shore where Sandy Toes staff members pulled them out of the water.
In their statement, the family says employees gave Jordan no medical attention and had no first-aid kit. She and her mom were soon placed on a boat where they were only given towels for Jordan’s legs.
The sharks tore off Jordan’s right arm and she suffered bites to her left arms, both legs and her buttocks, police said, according to ABC.
In a statement to PEOPLE, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said the agency was “deeply saddened” by her death.
“The safety of our visitors is of critical importance whether on water or land,” the ministry said. “It is our goal that every one of our visitors does so safely and to that end, we will review this incident and this family’s concerns. We will always seek to provide an improved experience for our visitors and residents.”
Jordan’s family is calling for tour groups to implement safety precautions including appointing a guard to look specifically for sharks, establishing an emergency plan for shark attacks and having proper medical supplies on all tours.
“Our family hopes that this statement will serve as a warning and an appeal for greater regulations to be imposed in the Bahamas to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again,” they said. “We would not be able to live with ourselves if we didn’t speak out and later hear that another family suffered the same devastating loss.”
“Jordan Lindsey was a beloved daughter, sister, girlfriend, and friend,” her family wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Jordan had the most beautiful, gentle soul and she will be missed deeply.”
Jordan was in her third year at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the university’s president, Timothy Law Snyder, said in a statement.
Snyder called Jordan a “devoted animal lover and climate change advocate.” He said the school will honor her with a plaque featuring her name at a student memorial.