Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter/@retro_ushi_
The phrase "karma is real" has never been more appropriate than when a boat exploded after passengers harassed people flying Pride flags on a Washington lake last weekend. (Side note: no one was hurt).
A TikTok video, which has gone viral, shows one group harassing another, shouting obscenities, and rudely gesticulating. It’s been seen more than eight million times on TikTok and liked 37,000 times on Twitter.
The incident occurred at Moses Lake in Washington on Sunday 30 May – two days before the start of Pride month. And we can bet that some pride was hurt, although not the pride the harassers intended.
Video of the event pic.twitter.com/JYLqulzqea— 🏳️⚧️ℂ𝕠𝕤𝕞𝕚𝕔 ℝ𝕠𝕓𝕓𝕚𝕖⭐ (@retro_ushi_) May 31, 2021
“Racing around us and shouting gay slurs”
Twitter user Cosmic Robbie, 32, who chose to go by his nickname for fear of retaliation, uploaded a series of images and videos of the incident claiming the boat's passengers “harassed my family because we were flying gay pride flags” by “racing around us and shouting gay slurs”. He added the hashtag: "#Karmaisreal".
These people harassed my family because we were flying gay pride flags in Moses Lake Washington, by racing around us and shouting gay slurs. Then, their boat literally blew up! #KarmaIsReal pic.twitter.com/cN7L74pHS6— 🏳️⚧️ℂ𝕠𝕤𝕞𝕚𝕔 ℝ𝕠𝕓𝕓𝕚𝕖⭐ (@retro_ushi_) May 31, 2021
Speaking to the Washington Post, Robbie, who identifies as trans and queer, said he could "clearly hear the words ‘gays’ and ‘flags’ being shouted from their boat”.
One woman on board can be seen flipping the bird at Robbie and his crew. The boat is then reported to have sped off before exploding.
“Heroic effort in rescuing the people”
Here's part 2 everyone!!! pic.twitter.com/papG8wGULL— 🏳️⚧️ℂ𝕠𝕤𝕞𝕚𝕔 ℝ𝕠𝕓𝕓𝕚𝕖⭐ (@retro_ushi_) June 1, 2021
The crew – two men and a woman - were able to swim over to the boat they had been harassing. In a lesson in graciousness, they were let on. The incident concluded as the rescued crew sped away on another boat while emergency services dealt with the blazing vehicle.
Robbie and his crew are “adamant” about not pursuing charges against those who harassed them, according to Grant County Sheriff, Tom Jones, who posted an update on Facebook after previously confirming he was investigating.
He said those on the burning boat had been interviewed. He thanked Robbie and co for their “heroic effort in rescuing the people from the burning boat."