Citrus County woman survives cruise ship disaster near the Galapagos Islands

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A Citrus County woman has quite the tale to tell after a shipwreck off the Galapagos Islands stranded her and fellow passengers for more than an hour in the middle of the night.

Holly Davis is no stranger to adventure. She grew up flying planes and frequently scuba dives in deep waters, making her trip to the remote waters off the coast of the Galapagos Islands one she's dreamt about for years.

"Galapagos is on most diver's bucket list. It's just truly iconic and Galapagos is known as a really challenging dive area," said Holly Davis.  

But that dream vacation took an unexpected twist after a night at sea turned into a heart-stopping experience.  

"Our last night at sea, one o'clock in the morning, we were just awoken by this enormous wham, wham, wham!" exclaimed Davis. "We were going full speed, which is only 11 knots, but we kind of knew that wasn't water." 

Their cruise ship had struck rocks, causing severe damage to the vessel. 

"We're groggy, we had just been woken out of a dead sleep," said Davis. "You just follow instructions at that point, grab passports and shoes."

Passengers and crew were forced to evacuate onto small boats and wait for rescue. 

"We got on and were just floating around, they shot off several dud flares."

After an hour and a half, a nearby boat finally responded to their S.O.S. It was the start of a long journey back to land.  

Eight boats and 10hours later, those on board the Majestic Explorer were finally safe on shore.

"We were just happy to be on land and get real food, finally," explained Davis.

It's a shipwreck disaster that could have had a devastating ending but now serves as another story to tell from an already memorable vacation.

"I would go back again in a heartbeat, and I'm not at all mad I went. It was fantastic," said Davis.

Crews returned the next day to try and recover the boat, but due to a large gash in the hull, it ended up completely underwater.

Thankfully, no one was hurt during the disaster, and Davis said that's what's important.