A Quebec family is decrying how they were treated — being made to wait hours to be rescued and to be treated in hospital — after they were involved in a boat accident while on vacation in Puerto Rico.
Quebec City resident Jasmine Huot-McCann, 17, says she suffered lacerations and bruises on her body, her grandfather suffered five open skull fractures and several lacerations and her grandmother suffered a severe concussion and dislocated her shoulder in the crash.
“It’s a miracle I’m alive today,” she said.
Huot-McCann was on vacation with her grandparents, mother, stepfather and 10-year-old half-brother. On July 25, they were taking part in a night tour of a bioluminescent island, when the boat they were on was struck by another boat.
The collision occurred at 9:45 p.m. and the impact was such that 22 passengers were injured, some badly. The captain of the boat fainted and Huot-McCann’s half-brother was treated for shock.
Waited hours to be rescued
Huot-McCann said it took two hours to be rescued from the boat. Her grandfather was taken to one hospital, then airlifted to another in Puerto Rico, she said.
Her mother, Julie McCann, was at the hospital with her grandfather for at least 24 hours. McCann told Radio-Canada from Puerto Rico that in that time, not one doctor came to clean or bandage her father’s open wounds.
Family members in Quebec finally called the Canadian Consulate in Puerto Rico for help.
The family is now considering taking legal action against the owner of the boat that crashed into theirs as well as the agency that organized the boat ride, said McCann, a professor at Laval University’s Faculty of Law.
Huot-McCann has since returned to Quebec. The rest of the family is still in Puerto Rico because the plane trip would be too risky for the family patriarch.
“I feel very far from them, but I’m comforted, I’m happy to return to my things, see my home, my family, because I really thought I could die,” she said.