Avid ballet dancer loses legs in Bahamas tour boat explosion

Saul Bowman
July 5, 2018

Maleka Jackson's father, Malvin Grimes, said she was a loving mother to her 12-year-old son and believed in giving back to her community.

People on a nearby boat watched in shock Saturday as flames and black smoke poured into the sky. One woman was killed; nine others were injured. The boat, belonging to Four C's Adventures, was carrying 10 American tourists and two Bahamians at the time.

The U.S. Coast Guard Southeast reported it assisted the Royal Bahamas Police Force on Saturday after receiving a request for help.

According to a close family friend, Jackson had to have a limb amputated because of the explosion.

In addition to her husband, Maleka Jackson, who was 39-years-old, leaves behind a son.

Stefanie's family has set up an online fundraiser to offset medical expenses.

'I would say probably three minutes into the ride is when the right side of the boat exploded.


Stefanie Schaffer, her mother, Stacey Bender, her sister, Brooke, and her father-in-law, Paul Bender, were in the Bahamas on vacation last week.

Stefanie's family members spoke to reporters, saying they were heartbroken by the tragedy, and can't imagine how the girl will feel when she wakes up to realize her legs are gone. Stacey is also in the hospital being treated for her injuries.

Stephanie's sister, Brooke, suffered minor injuries, Brian said, while the girls' mother sustained some broken bones and "we believe some internal bleeding, as well", he added.

Stefanie, the sister of Haiden's girlfriend, Brooke, is now in a medically induced coma in a Florida hospital. Police have not yet identified the person who was killed.

According to Castleton University officials, Schaffer is registered as a senior for the fall semester.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion.

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