man overboard

Man Falls Off Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Near Florida, Coast Guard Launches Search Operation

A 46-year-old passenger on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship reportedly fell into the waters off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, ABC News reports. The man, identified as David Mossman, a Texas resident reportedly fell nearly 100 feet down a balcony and remains untraceable.

While the circumstances in which the incident took place remain unclear, The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a search operation to find the man. A spokesman for Royal Caribbean has confirmed the incident and said that another guest on board the ship saw the man fall off. The ship in which the incident happened is The Navigator of The Seas. The ship was near Key Largo, off the Florida coast at around 11 p.m., Friday when the incident happened. According to the eyewitness, David Mossman reportedly fell from a stateroom balcony.

A report by Cruise Law News said that the man had a marital dispute prior to the incident and jumped off the ship. This is yet to be verified. The report also adds that the crew onboard the ship threw life rings all around the water after the man jumped. However, they were unable to find or rescue him. The ship reportedly sailed in circles around the area where the incident occurred — and then continued its journey to Port Everglades after they notified the U.S. Coast Guard, which took over from them and continued with the search.

One passenger on board the ship tweeted about the incident as well. We have embedded the tweets from her below.

A statement issued by The Royal Caribbean describing the incident read as follows.

“Early Saturday morning, the ship was advised by the Coast Guard that they would be assuming control of the search and the ship resumed its journey to Port Everglades, Florida.”

While the statement issued by company did not reveal the name of the guest, subsequent media reports have identified the man as David Mossman.

“Royal Caribbean’s Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has said that they have searched an area of over 946-square miles in search of the man. The search is expected to continue through the night as well.

The Navigator of the Seas had left Port Everglades on Feb. 28, the cruise line said.

The Navigator of the Seas belongs to the Voyager-class of cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean International, and is the fourth in its series. It was launched in 2002 and has been in service since then. With a length of over 311 meters (1,021 feet), it was the largest ship of its class when launched. It weighs 139,570 GT and currently ranks as the world’s 12th largest ship. The Navigator of the Seas can carry 3,276 passengers in a double-occupancy configuration and a maximum of 3,807 passengers. It has a crew strength of 1,213 people on board and can cruise at a top speed of 22 knots (41 km/hr, 25 mph).

Update: No further information regarding the fate of the man who fell off the ship has been received nearly 24 hours after the incident. The U.S. Coast Guard have increased the area of the search operation.

[Image By Pjotr Mahhonin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons]