TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's a Father's Day celebration that passengers on board Tampa's Yacht StarShip won't soon forget.
"We thought we'd jump on a little brunch cruise and take the dads out with our kids and have a nice afternoon," said Stephanie Price, a passenger onboard Sunday's cruise.
Dozens of families boarded the yacht Sunday for a Father's Day brunch. However, not long after setting sail, that relaxing afternoon on the water took a startling turn.
"I had my three year old in the bathroom, and we lost power," said Price. "We went back to our table and I said, 'the lights just went out in the bathroom.' And then another friend with our party said, 'well somebody just ran by with a fire extinguisher.' And that's when we kind of knew something might not be okay."
Among those passengers was FOX 13's Scott Smith, along with his wife and two kids.
"Things definitely felt weird kind of from the get-go," said Carina Smith.
However, that weird feeling still failed to prepare passengers for what happened next.
"Someone came over the loud speaker and said, 'no alarm, but there's a small fire downstairs so we're turning around and everyone has to put on life jackets,'" explained Price.
Smith was just as shocked.
"We made a 180 degree turn as fast as I've ever seen a ship that size make," she said.
Passengers were taken to the top deck and shortly later, they were evacuated from the boat.
"When they said there was a fire in the engine room, having two kids I was a little scared, but knew it would all probably be OK," Smith said..
In a statement to FOX 13, the company stated:
"Today, during our second Father's Day Brunch Cruise, Yacht StarShip had to return to the dock as a small fire broke out in the engine room. The fire was immediately contained. There were no injuries or threat to the passengers or crew aboard. However, in abundance of caution, Yacht StarShip's Captain returned to the dock and safely evacuated all passengers. Safety is always our top priority."
"It was a little unnerving, but no one panicked, so it was OK," said Price.
While the cruise didn't necessarily go as planned, passengers said it's now a memory they won't forget.
"It was hilarious to be honest," said Price. "Kind of a fun adventure to a not-so-fun cruise."
Crew members told passengers that this is the first time an incident like Sunday's has ever happened. However, they have gone through extensive training, and that's why they were so prepared.
The company is planning to refund passengers for Sunday's brunch cruise, and they add that they will be sending out gift certificates for a future cruise.