Update #2: Cruzely received a complete statement regarding the alleged incident from the Pirates Cove Zipline and Water Park, where the two women were visiting. We’ve included it in full, below:
At Pirates Cove, the safety of our guests and team members is always paramount. We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing Police access to video from the sixteen cameras around the beach facility where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred. Accusations of any kind are always thoroughly investigated by Pirates Cove management and, when warranted, the organization calls in local authorities.
When the alleged incident was reported to staff, Pirates Cove employees and management took swift action to assist the women and ensure their safety. Local authorities and paramedics were called to the scene and Pirates Cove management assisted in identifying and locating the two alleged suspects. In addition, after the police concluded their initial investigation, we assisted transporting the women back to their cruise ship after they refused transportation to the hospital.
Upon further review of the surveillance videos, the allegations made onsite, and in subsequent social media posts and news stories, conflict with what the time-stamped surveillance videos contain. As such, the lengthy videos of all concerned have been handed over to the local police and will be shared with our industry partners as needed.
We take great pride in ensuring our guests have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting Pirates Cove. In addition to having safety personnel and CCTV surveillance throughout the park, employees and vendors of Pirates Cove must follow strict guidelines when interacting with guests. We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in a manner that is unsafe.
While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy.
We strongly encourage all concerned parties to make sure all facts are considered before reaching a conclusion.
Having regard for the code of conduct expected of all staff at Pirates Cove and the thousands of guests who have visited our facility since 2016, we are very concerned about the allegations made and will continue to cooperate with authorities to faithfully resolve the issue.
- Pirates Cove Zipline and Water Park Management
Update #1: Following the original story, the resort where this incident allegedly happened issued a statement reported by news website DailyMail saying the following:
“Upon further review of the surveillance videos, the allegations made onsite, and in subsequent social media posts and news stories, conflict with what the time-stamped surveillance videos contain.
“While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy.”
Local news station Eyewitness News Bahamas had more on the conflicting accounts between the women and the resort:
In a disturbing incident, two Kentucky women are speaking out after they say they were drugged and raped while in a port of call in The Bahamas.
According to the women and news reports, they were visiting Freeport on Grand Bahama during a Carnival cruise from Jacksonville. During the day in port, the pair grabbed a taxi to take them to a nearby resort to enjoy the beach.
There, the pair say they took advantage of a two-for-one drink special to enjoy cocktails while on vacation.
They said they “felt the drinks were really strong” but despite having a low tolerance for alcohol, the pair say they could sense something else was wrong after one beverage.
“We have videos that we had taken on our phones 15 minutes between when we first got the drink and 15 minutes later, and our friends and our family are messaging us, concerned about us [saying] ‘are you sure that you only had one drink?'” the pair shared with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo.
You can see the full recount of their ordeal in the video below:
The same week the U.S. put out a travel warning on the Bahamas, 2 American women thought they were enjoying a drink on the beach as their Carnival cruise ship was docked, but instead, Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson say staff members at a resort drugged and raped them…then… pic.twitter.com/LxOUM0AqBJ
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) February 8, 2024
After having the drinks, the women say they decided to get out of the water and look for seashells on the beach. A male staff member at the resort allegedly said he knew where to find more. Soon, one woman said she came to with this man raping her.
The women then say that toxicology and alcohol tests done back on the ship show they had little to no alcohol in their system but were positive for a number of drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, and more.
According to Lex18.com, a local news station in Kentucky where the women live, the Royal Bahamas Police have arrested two men in connection with the crime. However, the women say that Bahamian police were unhelpful with their case, including not giving them rape kits that they specifically requested.
While the two passengers are upset with the entire ordeal, they also claim that Carnival did not warn them of the dangers of visiting The Bahamas. A recent Level 2 Travel Advisory from the U.S. State Department urges travelers to “exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime.”
The notice says nothing specifically about potential druggings, but it does say that “violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas.”
The two cruise passengers say they knew nothing of this advisory until hours after the incident.
In a statement to the New York Post, Carnival shared the following:
“While ashore in Freeport, Bahamas on an independent shore excursion, two guests on Carnival Elation reported to Bahamian police that they were sexually assaulted at a local beach. Our onboard Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville. Bahamian police are investigating the matter and Carnival is providing our full cooperation.”
As for other passengers, the victims say they want them to be aware of the incident. They suggest traveling only on excursions provided directly through the cruise line, traveling in a group, and not buying drinks unless they come in a sealed container.
You can read more at the links below:
- Kentucky women warn others after sexual assault during trip to the Bahamas (Lex18.com)
- 2 Kentucky moms say they were drugged, raped by Bahamas resort staffers (NYPost.com)
- State Department Travel Advisory for The Bahamas