- A family of four was targeted for flying Pride flags on their boat, one of the passengers told Insider.
- A blue vessel circled the family and shouted homophobic abuse, the passenger said.
- The family rescued the couple after their boat burst into flames. They never thanked them for it.
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“Karma hits boaters who harassed us and spun circles around our boat after they saw our pride flags,” reads the caption of a viral TikTok video with over 10 million views and 2.5 million likes.
The video, shared by user @UhOhBigBoi, shows a woman on a blue vessel flipping off the passengers of a boat flying an LGBTQ pride flag on Moses Lake, Washington last Sunday.
The woman continues to keep her middle finger raised while circling the other vessel before her boat eventually bursts into flames, the video shows.
@uhohbigboi We safely got them out of the water immediately. We were nicer than they were. ##pride ##lgbtq ##boat ##Fail ##Karma ##Gay ##hate ##sorrynotsorry
One of the passengers on the boat with Pride flags told Insider that the woman had repeatedly shouted “gays” at him and his family.
“We reviewed what footage we had and confirmed our suspicions that they did appear to be directly badgering us simply for displaying our LGBTQ pride flags,” Robbie, who did not wish to share his last name for safety reasons, said.
Robbie, a trans man, was tubing with his girlfriend, his brother, his brother’s partner, and their emotional support dog when the incident took place.
The family became alarmed after the boaters, seemingly unprovoked, circled them “six or seven times” and created waves around them.
“My brother turned to me and said, ‘They are doing this to humiliate us. They’re causing waves to rock us back and forth and we can’t say anything or they’ll keep doing it,'” Robbie said.
Moments later, the family heard a “loud backfire and a sputter” come from the other boat and saw a large cloud of black smoke arise from it. “At this point, we all actually felt quite satisfied with how the events turn out since no one on our boat was hurt and their damage seemed minimal,” Robbie added.
But, shortly after, the family became increasingly concerned after hearing a loud explosion and seeing flames. The boaters then began to scream and beg for help.
@uhohbigboi Reply to @dark_umbre0n Part two with my two best friends @retro_ushi_ and @nova.starr96 ##Gay ##hate ##sorrynotsorry ##Karma ##Fail ##boat ##lgbtq ##pride
Another TikTok video shows the boaters, one of whom is crying, being rescued by the targets of their abuse.
The family helped the wailing passengers onto their boat.
“In complete shock, we kept to ourselves mostly as our driver attempted to calm the female passenger and have them delivered to their friends of which they insisted we take them to,” Robbie said.
“The passengers were quite rude, shouting over us, ignoring my inquiries about their well-being when on the 911 call and smoking a Vape pen on our boat without even so much as asking if they could; several passengers of our boat have asthma,” he added.
The boaters then exited their vessel without saying “thank you,” according to Robbie.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday that Robbie and his family had been interviewed as part of an investigation into the incident.
“The person who recorded the video and two other people on the vessel that was being circled were adamant about not wishing to pursue charges against the people on the blue vessel that burned,” Sheriff Tom Jones wrote on Facebook.
“We respect their expectation to not be publicly named as well as the decision not to pursue criminal charges in this matter. We have privately thanked them for their heroic efforts in rescuing the people who jumped from the burning boat,” Jones added.
“The Grant County Sheriff’s Office does not stand for intolerance of anyone and will investigate those cases accordingly” the statement concluded.