No travel warning until after two mums drugged, raped by Bahamas resort staffers

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WARNING: Story contains graphic content

Two mums from the US are speaking out after they were allegedly drugged and raped in the Bahamas Sunday following a travel warning for the vacation hotspot.

Longtime friends Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson said their first kid-free vacation ended with a traumatic, broad-daylight assault when they decided to go to the beach after the Carnival cruise ship they were on docked at the island country, theNew York Post reports.

Now they’re warning other women.

The mums were relaxing on a Grand Bahama beach when a resort staffer offered them a two-for-one drink deal, they told NewsNation’s “Cuomo.”

They accepted and took photos with the tropical drinks — one in a pineapple and the other in a coconut.

But they soon felt like the drinks were much stronger than expected.

Even their loved ones back home grew concerned when the women sent back videos where they seemed to be highly intoxicated just 15 minutes after their first sips, Dobson told the station.

“Less than a few [sips] into the second drink, we knew something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong,” Ms Shearer said.

They went to look for seashells to bring back to their kids when a male resort staffer offered to show them the best spot to find shells.

But the next thing Ms Shearer could recall was waking up while she was being assaulted by a uniformed male resort staffer.

“I came to in the process of my rape,” she told NewsNation, breaking down.

Bahamian authorities and other staffers at the resort were able to immediately identify the two men accused of the noon assault through surveillance footage.

One of the attackers had only been employed by the resort for about a week, according to Ms Shearer.

Royal Bahamas police arrested two men, a 40-year-old of South Bahamia and a 54-year-old of Eight Mile Rock, in connection to the sexual assault, the department said in a news release.

Police are continuing to investigate, but the women say their allegations weren’t properly handled and that the local cops did not administer proper rape test kits despite their pleas.

Back on the cruise ship, the mums received the results of their toxicology tests — which showed they had a plethora of drugs in their systems, including benzodiazepines.

They also had almost no alcohol in their bodies and had bruising up and down their legs, Kentucky NBC affiliate station Lex18 reported.

“To see the things that showed up on my [toxicology] screen was just traumatising all over again,” Dobson said.

Travel advisories issued for the Bahamas, Jamaica

– The US Embassy issued a stark security warning and travel advisory on January 24 after the Bahamas saw 18 primarily gang-related murders in January.

– The US Embassy warning urged travellers to “exercise extreme caution” on the eastern side of the Bahamas’ capital city, Nassau.

– Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement the government is “alert, attentive, and proactive” in keeping the island nation “welcoming” to travellers.

– The State Department issued a stark travel warning for Jamaica after it was rocked by 65 murders last month.

– The US Embassy in Jamaica upgraded the travel advisory to Level 3, “Reconsider travel,” just one level short of the most severe, and warns against travel altogether.

– The Bahamian and Jamaican tourism boards are insisting the countries are still safe for tourists despite the United States’ warnings.

Now back in Kentucky, the women have hired a lawyer to get justice and are receiving medical care — including $US4,000 in HIV prevention medication, according to the local station.

The mothers are also angry with Carnival — which they say failed to tell them about the US State Department travel advisory for the Bahamas until after their horrific assault.

The State Department issued a level 2 advisory on January 26, just over a week before the two American women were allegedly raped.

The advisory advises US travellers to “exercise increased caution” when visiting the Bahamas due to crime and gang-on-gang violence that have resulted in 18 murders in January alone.

Five days before the mums were assaulted, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis insisted that the country was a “safe” destination for tourists.

“The incidents described in the January 2024 US Embassy crime alert do not reflect general safety in The Bahamas, a country of sixteen (16) tourism destinations, and many more islands,” he said.

Carnival said it is co-operating with Bahamian police in their investigation.

“While ashore in Freeport, Bahamas on an independent shore excursion, two guests on Carnival Elation reported to Bahamian police that they were sexually assaulted at a local beach,” a spokesman for the cruise line said in a statement to The Post.

“Our on-board Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville. Bahamian police are investigating the matter and Carnival is providing our full co-operation.”

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.