Man Overboard! ‘Oasis Of The Seas’ Loses Bernardo Elbaz After Royal Caribbean Crew Fight, Says Lawyer [Video]

Bernardo Elbaz is the name of the Brazilian man went overboard from Oasis Of The Seas in the middle of the Bahamas this past Friday night. The whole incident was caught on video, and now the lawyer for the gay man’s husband is disputing the claim by Royal Caribbean crew members who say they saw Elbaz “intentionally going over the side of the ship.” Instead, the lawyers say Elbaz was insulted with anti-gay insults and had a fight with Royal Caribbean crew members right before the man went overboard.

[Update] The Sheriff’s Office has reviewed new video evidence recorded by the gay couple right before the man fell from the balcony.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, when the man went overboard from Oasis Of The Seas, the Royal Caribbean cruise company released a statement explaining their version of the events.

“He was spotted by Oasis of the Seas crew members intentionally going over the side of the ship,” Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez. “A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched and is currently assisting us with the search. Our care team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

The Bernardo Elbaz video shows the man clinging to an Oasis Of The Seas lifeboat for about a minute before falling overboard into the ocean. Other passengers near the seventh deck attempted to help Elbaz, but after he fell overboard into the water, they tried throwing him a lifesaving flotation device.

Initial reports painted Elbaz as suicidal, purposefully putting himself in harm’s way. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said that Elbaz “jumped on to a lifeboat and subsequently fell into the water,” and Royal Caribbean passenger Logan Cunningham claimed Elbaz “was pretty intoxicated, got into a disagreement with a guy, security then got involved to where he jumped on the boat.”

Miami attorney Michael Winkleman disputes these claims about why the man went overboard from Oasis Of The Seas. According to the Sun Sentinel, the lawyer says Elbaz did not jump onto the lifeboat on purpose.

“Royal Caribbean says this was a domestic dispute and a suicide, saying that he jumped. That was anything but the case,” Winkleman said.

Bernardo and Eric Elbaz are a gay couple who have been married for about a year. The Royal Caribbean cruise vacation was a celebration of Eric’s 34th birthday, but earlier in the cruise, there was an incident at the bar where Bernardo was insulted with anti-gay slurs.

“At the bar there were comments like, ‘Hey, Lipstick,'” said Winkleman. “Bernardo was sensitive about those issues.”

On Thursday night, before the man fell overboard from Oasis Of The Seas, Bernardo stayed up late at the bar, and there was a “fight” after more gay insults were used by crew members. The lawyer says Elbaz was very upset and drunk when he returned to his cabin.

“[Bernardo was] definitely inebriated, crying, swearing at crew members who may have followed him,” Winkleman said. “He was so angry he threw a lamp, a chair.”

The incident caused Oasis Of The Seas‘ security team to respond with “as many as five or six crew members.” During the resulting fight, Bernardo allegedly fell through the open balcony and out onto the life boat.

“Hold on to him! Don’t let him go!” Eric Elbaz screamed in the videos. “My husband! Oh my God! Hold on to him!”

Unfortunately, the man fell overboard from Oasis Of The Seas despite all attempts to save him. As of this publishing, the U.S. Coast Guard had searched 931 square nautical miles before the rescue effort was suspended. Brazilian relatives of Bernardo Elbaz want search and rescue operations to continue since searchers previously spotted a potential body in the water but were unable to retrieve it.

In a new statement about Bernardo Elbaz, Royal Caribbean claims that the Oasis Of The Seas crew did not fight with the man before he fell overboard.

“Our onboard security team responded to the guest’s stateroom after a neighboring guest complained about a domestic dispute on the guest’s balcony,” the company said. “Our staff did not have a physical altercation with the guest and were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this statement does not accurately reflect what really happened.

?”It was not a suicide,” Winkleman claimed. “Bernardo did not jump.”

Royal Caribbean say it’s “deeply saddened by this event” and “will continue to provide assistance to the family as well as law enforcement.” The incident and the alleged fight are under investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Oasis Of The Seas
Oasis Of The Seas [Image via Royal Caribbean]
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