Man goes overboard from Royal Caribbean cruise in front of family

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A cruise turned into a nightmare for people aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas when a young man jumped overboard shortly after 4am on Thursday.

The 18-storey ship was sailing off the coast of Cuba when the as-yet-unidentified man jumped off one of the decks.

According to onlookers, his father and brother watched helplessly as he leapt over the side, the New York Post reports.

“There was a lot of yelling, and the crew was alerted immediately,” passenger Deborah Morrison told The Post.

“His family was horrified. Just beside themselves. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through.”

In a statement to The Post, Royal Caribbean said its crew immediately sprang into action following the incident.

“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who has taken over the search,” the statement reads.

“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.”

News of the incident quickly spread among the guests — and many of them tried to help in any way they could.

“The early morning was definitely sombre as so many people came out of their cabins to stare at the sea, hoping to be able to aid in finding the person,” Amy Phelps Fouse, a passenger on the ship said.

“Royal Caribbean has been excellent at communicating updates throughout the day,” Ms Fouse continued.

“They have asked that people act with compassion in light of the tragic situation.”

Overboard incidents on cruise ships are rare.

According to the Washington Post, about 386 people were reported to have gone overboard on the major cruise lines between 2000 to 2020.

The incidents, whether accidental or intentional, are often deadly.

In the past few years, most cruise lines have enacted on-board safety measures and surveillance systems to help reduce the risk of overboard deaths.

The Coast Guard confirmed to The Post it is still conducting a search and rescue operation in the waters off Cuba. The man has not yet been found.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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