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Royal Caribbean cruise passengers horrified as man jumps overboard in front of family


A cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas turned into a nightmare for passengers when a young man jumped overboard shortly and disappeared onto the dark waters.

The incident occurred just after 4am on Thursday as the 18-story ship was navigating between Cuba and the Bahamas’ Grand Inagua Island.

Eyewitnesses reported that the man’s father and brother watched in anguish as he leaped off one of the decks in what appeared to be an impulsive and spur-of-the-moment.

The 20-year-old reportedly jumped from a deck of the Liberty of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships globally.

Bryan Sims, a passenger on the cruise, recounted the moments leading up to the incident, telling the New York Post: “I had hung out with him and his brother in the hot tub until 3.30am. It was standing room only. He sat right beside me the whole time.”

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Sims described the young man as “pretty drunk” and mentioned witnessing a confrontation between him and his father before the tragic leap.

“As we were walking from the hot tub back to the elevators, his dad and brother were walking towards us. His dad was fussing at him for being drunk, I guess”, he continued.

“When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all.” 

Deborah Morrison, another passenger, described the chaotic scene following the incident, with the crew being alerted immediately.

She expressed sympathy for the family, stating: “His family was horrified. Just beside themselves. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through.”

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The US Coast Guard confirmed that a search and rescue operation is ongoing in the waters off Cuba, but the man has not yet been found.

In response to the incident, Royal Caribbean released a statement affirming that their crew promptly initiated a search and rescue effort in collaboration with the US Coast Guard, who has since taken over the search. The cruise line’s Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family during this difficult time.

Overboard incidents on cruise ships are rare, but when they occur, they are often deadly.

According to reports, about 386 people were reported to have gone overboard on major cruise lines between 2000 to 2020. Cruise lines have implemented safety measures and surveillance systems in recent years to mitigate such incidents.

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