An Australian man has died after falling overboard from Symphony of the Seas in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
It’s unclear when the passenger fell overboard, but reports indicate that a rescue boat was launched from the ship between 3am and 5am and recovered the body of the victim.
The new first came to light when a video was posted to Twitter showing the rescue boat being launched and returning to the ship with the body of the victim aboard. Cruise Arabia & Africa has not embedded the video due to the graphic content.
The story was subsequently picked up by Cruise Law News which tracks man overboard incidents on cruise ships and has long advocated for cruise lines to put man overboard detection systems in place.
Royal Caribbean later confirmed the accident in a statement carried by Cruise Hive.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred on the Symphony of the Seas en route to Saint Thomas this morning,” a spokesperson for the line said. “Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time.”
“Upon the initial report that an Australian adult male had gone overboard, our ship immediately turned, launched a rescue boat, and conducted a full-scale search. We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation,” the statement added.
Symphony of the Seas was sailing from St. Kitts to St. Thomas in the Eastern Caribbean at the time of the overboard.
She is sailing a 7-day itinerary out of Miami, Florida, calling at Royal Caribbean’s newly-upgraded private island Perfect Day at Cococay in the Bahamas on Friday. The ship will return to its homeport of Miami on Saturday.
Symphony of the Seas is the newest ship in the Oasis-class and at 288,000 gross tons, she is the largest cruise ship ever built, with a passenger capacity of 5,500.
This latest incident comes after two recent overboards from two Princess cruise ships. A man jumped from China-based Majestic Princess earlier this week, while a Tawainese woman reportedly fell from Island Princess which is also based in Asia, she was also tragically killed.
According to the Washington Post, some 26 cruise passengers fell or jumped overboard from cruise ships last year, while 28.5-million people went on a cruise during the same period according to the Maritime Executive.