Passenger Reportedly Jumps from Cruise Ship in Front of Family

A passenger on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas cruise ship reportedly jumped overboard in front of his family early Thursday morning.

A sun-filled deck on a cruise ship with loungers, a swimming pool, and family passengers relaxing.
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

According to witnesses, the 20-year-old man had been drinking alcohol and leaped out of a window following a brief argument with his father.

The incident occurred yesterday shortly after 4 a.m. as the ship was sailing off the coast of The Bahamas.

How did the cruise passenger go overboard?

The 18-story cruise ship was sailing from Grand Inagua Island in The Bahamas to Cuba on its final day at sea before returning to Port Everglades.

(Image via MarineTraffic)

A passenger named Bryan Sims was with the 20-year-old man who eventually went overboard. From the ship’s hot tub, they went to the elevators, where they encountered the man’s father and brother. According to Sims, “he was pretty drunk.”

In his narration to The New York Post, he said, “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.”

Sims 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.” 

Another passenger described the events on the ship. “The ship slowed and began rescue efforts without success. The US Coast Guard was called, and a helicopter and a rescue boat were sent. Since those assets have arrived, we have been freed to resume our journey to FLL,” he recounted.

Top view of a cruise ship's deck featuring pools, water slides, and sports courts sailing on blue ocean waters as a cruise passenger jumps overboard in front of family.
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

According to Royal Caribbean, the crew quickly mobilized search and rescue efforts with the US Coast Guard, who eventually continued the search. The ship’s captain confirmed the man overboard event over the public address system a few hours later.

Meanwhile, the cruise line assured that “Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share.”

As news spread online, social media users questioned why the 20-year-old victim was allowed to become intoxicated. Since it was a Caribbean sailing, the legal drinking age based on the cruise line’s regulations is 21. 

In 2023, 15 man overboard incidents occurred on cruise ships. Though rare, they are often fatal, and the people who jump overboard are hardly ever rescued.

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