Who Is Mark Bailey? New Details On The Coke Binging Boat Captain Who Held Passengers Hostage

Photo: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office
Who Is Mark Bailey? New Details On The Coke Binging Boat Captain Who Held Passengers Hostage

A group of men who just wanted to spend a day fishing off the coast of Florida last weekend, ended up captive on a boat when the captain of the charter vessel went on a drug-fueled rampage and refused to let them off. Captain Mark Bailey was using cocaine and marijuana as well as swigging down alcohol, all while piloting a charter boat in circles, according to the terrified passengers. They pleaded with him to take them back to shore but the intoxicated captain refused and threatened to shoot them all and dump their bodies in the water. He spent more than 12 hours circling in the ocean off the coast of Sarasota as the frightened men hid from him. Eventually, the passengers were able to reach out for help from the Coast Guard and local police, who rescued them from their ordeal and arrested Captain Bailey.

Who is Mark Bailey? What happened on that boat and why did Captain Bailey snap? Read on for all the details.

1. A twelve hour tour

A group of six passengers embarked on Captain Bailey’s charter boat for what was supposed to be a 12-hour fishing expedition, according to WFLA, an NBC television affilate. They left Sarasota around 6am with Bailey and his first mate Devin Kisell on the boat "Double Marker.” The trip started out normally enough but then one passenger asked his nephew to go grab a beer from the cooler near Captain Bailey. The 15-year-old boy complied but when he tried to take a beer from the cooler, Bailey ordered him to put it back, then grabbed the boy and ripped a piece of jewelry the teen was wearing from his neck. Shortly after that, Bailiey asked passenger Chris Giuffre to come talk to him and the captain reportedly said: "I have a gun and if I want to, I will put a bullet in each of your heads and leave you out here.”

Bailey was intoxicated.

2. Drugs, alcohol and guns

Passengers say that Bailey had been drinking beer on the boat and they also observed him taking swigs from a bottle of Captain Morgan rum. They all testified later that they weren’t sure how much alcohol Bailey had consumed, according to Buzzfeed. In addition, some of the passengers witnessed him snorting cocaine and smoking marijuana. During his angry confrontation with passengers, he threatened to shoot them and backed up the threat by pulling a gun and firing it into the air multiple times.

The Coast Guard had to get involved.

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3. Terror on the high seas

The passengers realized quickly that they were in a very dangerous situation. Buzzfeed reports that passenger Christopher Guiffre wrote in a police statement: "I became very unsettled and the situation became very sketchy. We had no control and no way to get back.” Guiffre went on to write: "At this point I was thinkin [sic] this is going to end really badly and I think we were all trying to strategize as to what we could do where we could hide where could we go, how could we stem the confrontation that was about to ensue.” Another passenger, identified as Jason Rialmo, said he “felt threatened when [Bailey] said it wouldn't be nothing to pop a bullet in each one of us and dump our bodies overboard.” A third passenger, Carl Lopepano wrote: "We were [definitely] all in fear for our lives.”

Bailey threatened the kill his passengers.

4. Driving in circles

The passengers all asked the captain to turn back to shore and at one point they thought they were getting closer to the docks where they could disembark. But they soon realized that the captain was just driving them in circles. They tried to get him to bring them back but all he said was "No, I can do this as long as I want, I do this for a living,” according to the report by WFLA. Captain Bailey finally circled close enough to land that a passenger was able to get cell reception and called the Coast Guard and local police.

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Bailey used charter fee the passnegers paid to cover his bail

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5. Arrest

When Bailey was arrested, Buzzfeed reports that police noted that he had "watery, bloodshot eyes" and slurred speech and "appeared unsteady on his feet.” He was belligerent and refused orders from police before kicking the door of a squad car. He was charged with boating under the influence as well as resisting with violence before being taken to jail.

Bailey could lose his business.

Local police will be handling the boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest charges but the Coast Guard is investigating the other potential crimes that happened in federally controlled waters.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.