Dozens of tourists stuck on the Caribbean island of St Thomas during Hurricane Irma were refused available places on a rescue ferry send by Marriott Hotels because they were not their guests.
Hundreds had been stranded on St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in the wake of Hurricane Irma and had been told a rescue ship would come to their aid on on Friday.
However, some 35 people were told they would not be allowed on the ship – despite an alleged 1,300 free seats – as they had not been Marriott guests when the hurricane hit.
St Thomas suffered terribly during Hurricane Irma, with electricity and water cut off, roads blocked by debris and thousands of homes and infrastructure destroyed.
Several hundred tourists stranded on the island had reportedly been told by local authorities that a ship would come in to take tourists to nearby Puerto Rico, from where they would be able to fly to the U.S. mainland.
However, until they arrived at the pier late Friday evening, they had not been told that the ship was for Marriott guests only.
A video filmed and posted on Facebook by Naomi Michial Ayala, from Dallas, Texas, shows the lights turned off at the pier after they had been refused to board.
‘They shut the lights off here in order to get us to go,’ she can be heard saying on the video.
‘This was a decision of Marriott who did not let us get on this boat so we could get on flights home.’
SOURCE: SARA MALM