Virginia Beach, Va. (WAVY) – The United States Coast Guard continues the Spirit of Norfolk formal hearings.

Jason Sleeth shares his experience Saturday morning, on day three of the six-day hearing.

Sleeth and his son were on board the city cruise for an end-of-the-school-year celebration in June of 2022. When he noticed smoke coming from the side of the boat.

He said a group of kindergarteners and fifth graders were all on the ship at the time.

“The kids were a lot calmer than the parents.”

Coast guard and NTSB officials asked him a series of questions about the crew members assisting with the evacuation and if alarms went off.

Yesterday, the Spirit of Norfolk Captain Ryan Nadeau shared he did not make any announcements because of the number of kids on board.

“The children knew what was going on from seeing all the smoke, they knew something was wrong. I think it would have been more beneficial for us, like ‘Hey, we have an emergency situation. We need to have everybody to report to this level and follow instructions from the crew. For me, for my child that would have been beneficial,” said Sleeth.

Capt. Brandon Peter, Master of the Victory Rover also recounts the moments his boat helped get about 106 kids and crew to safety.

“You could see smoke coming up over the boat.”

Sleeth details that walking from boat to boat was not a small ask.

“I don’t want to say it was a sketchy scene but when you are dealing with a bunch of kindergarteners and fifth graders. It wasn’t the easiest task.”

Va. Capt. Larry Sullivan, master of McAllister Tug also details his role in assisting city cruises and other officials.

The hearings are expected to pick up again on Monday morning.