American Ballet Dancer Loses Legs in Bahamas Tour Boat Explosion

A 22-year-old American ballet dancer has lost both of her legs following a tour boat explosion in the Bahamas.

Stefanie Schaffer, 22, is in a medically induced coma at a hospital in Florida in critical condition after she suffered two broken arms, a broken wrist, a fractured spine, internal injuries to her kidneys, spleen and liver, and underwent a double leg amputation after the boat she was on exploded.

(Photo: GoFundMe)

"I don't think she knows she doesn't have any legs left. Trying think of what her life's going to be like and what we all need to do as a family to get her back to being that ballet dancer and soccer player. That's what I want to do," her uncle, Brian Schaffer, told NBC 6 News.

Schaffer, a lifelong ballet dancer and soccer player, had been among 12 people, including 10 U.S. citizens and two Bahamian crew members, who were aboard a tour boat that exploded off the coast of Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays on Saturday, June 30, killing one and injuring nine others. She had reportedly been sitting right above the location of the blast along with her sister, Brook, and parents, Stacey and Paul Bender.

"On Saturday June 30th the family joined a boat tour to enjoy the sights off the island of Exuma, located about 130 miles south of Nassau. The boat bursts into flames shortly after 9 a.m.," a GoFundMe for Schaffer states. "Stefanie sustained life threatening injuries including a double amputation and remains in critical condition. Stacey suffered multiples broken bones and internal injuries. Paul and Brooke suffered bruises and cuts."

While originally treated at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, she has since been transported to a hospital in Florida, where her mother, Stacey, is also being treated.

Maleka Grimes, 39, from Tennessee, died in the explosion. She had been traveling with her husband, Tiran Jackson, to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. Jackson was among four Americans airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida following the incident. He remains in critical condition.


"The thoughts and prayers of the Bahamian people are with the families and loved ones of the passenger who perished in the accident, with those who are still hospitalized at this time, and with the others on the vessel," Bahamas Minister of Tourism Dionisio D'Aguilar said in a statement.

Officials from the Bahama's police, fire, and civil aviation departments are conducting an investigation into the explosion.