Young Man Jumps From Cruise Ship After Fight With Dad

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An alarming incident occurred in the early hours of April 4, 2024, when a 20-year-old man was reported overboard from the Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, leading to an immediate search and rescue mission.

The occurrence transpired while the ship was 57 miles away from Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas, amidst a four-night Eastern Caribbean cruise.

The 18-floor ship was on its route between Cuba and Grand Inagua Island in the Bahamas when the unidentified man reportedly jumped from one of the decks.

According to eyewitness accounts, the young man, who was under the influence of alcohol, impulsively leaped overboard after a brief argument with his father, as seen by his brother and other onlookers. A fellow passenger, Bryan Sims, recounted his interaction with the young man and his brother before the incident. Sims pointed out the young man’s state of intoxication and his sudden act after a disagreement with his father. “He said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all,” Sims reported.

Passengers including Deborah Morrison and Amy Phelps Fouse explained the immediate response as the ship’s crew and guests initiated search efforts, unified by a sense of shock and empathy for the distressed family.

Bryan Sims, who had spent time with the young man and his brother in the hot tub until 3:30, said, “It was standing room only. He sat right beside me the whole time.”

Sims further commented on the young man’s state, saying, “He was pretty drunk.”

In a formal statement, the cruise line confirmed the immediate start of the search and rescue operation in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, who took charge of the operation. Despite intensive efforts, the young man remained missing at the time of the report.

Royal Caribbean has offered support to the family of the man, though specific details about the incident are kept confidential to maintain their privacy. A sobering atmosphere has settled among the passengers, many of whom have expressed their sympathy and readiness to help in any possible way.

While incidents of overboard passengers on cruise ships are rare, they do pose considerable danger and often lead to fatalities. From 2000 to 2020, around 386 overboard incidents were reported among large cruise lines. In response, cruise lines have been progressively implementing safety protocols and surveillance systems to prevent such incidents, including high deck railings and alcohol-service cut-off procedures for visibly intoxicated passengers.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s ongoing search operation involves significant resources, including the Cutter Seneca and an HC-144 patrol plane, reflecting the gravity with which such incidents are addressed.

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