Breaking News: Passenger Leaps from the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

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It has been reported that a male traveler aboard Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is critically ill after leaping overboard a day after beginning his 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, which set off on May 25, 2024.

The incident happened on the morning of Sunday, May 26, 2024, while the vessel, known to be the world’s largest cruise ship, was on its way to Roatan, Honduras, from its Miami, Florida port. At that moment, the ship was about 300 miles away from PortMiami and roughly 30 to 40 miles north of Santa Lucia, Cuba.

It was communicated by Royal Caribbean to Cruise Hive: “Upon the occurrence of the incident, the ship’s crew promptly informed the U.S Coast Guard and carried out a search and rescue operation. Our care team is actively extending support and help to the guest’s family in these trying times. Respecting the privacy of the guest and their family, we won’t be sharing any further details.

The emergency was immediately noticed and members of the 2,350-person crew sprang into action to stop the ship and begin a search and rescue mission. According to cruise tracking data, the ship halted her course for approximately two hours and stayed put until the man was brought back onboard.

Guests currently onboard the 7,600-passenger ship confirmed the situation by posting videos of two small rescue boats launched from the vessel. Also, based on posts from current passengers, it’s believed the man is currently recovering in the ship’s onboard intensive care unit with his family by his side.

At this time, it’s unclear what prompted the man to jump. His identity and full prognosis has been kept confidential to protect the privacy of the passenger and his loved ones.

On Icon of the Seas right now. Someone jumped/fell overboard and now a Search & Rescue is taking place. Low chance they’ll be found. Hold your loved ones close, guys.

With the rescue mission ending in success after only a couple hours, Icon of the Seas Western Caribbean itinerary is thus far unaffected by the delay. The new, Icon-class ship should be able to make up time at sea to arrive in Roatan, Honduras, on time on the morning of Monday, May 27.

A friend of mine just shared this video of ⁦Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas. A man went overboard this morning about 300 miles from Miami in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico Captain ordered a search & rescue. After two hours it seems the man has been rescued and is alive.

Before the 248,663-gross ton vessel returns to Miami on June 1, she will also call on Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, which is the cruise line’s private island destination. 

Since her maiden voyage on January 27, 2024, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship has been alternating between 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, which she is scheduled to continue operating as far out as April of 2026.

This isn’t the first instance in recent months where a ship from Royal Caribbean had to respond to a man-overboard emergency. Unfortunately, most of these occurrences have a slim likelihood of ending with successful rescues due to factors like injuries from the fall, weather variations, water temperature, and strong currents.

On a brighter note, the guest from Icon of the Seas is fortunate to have survived. A similar incident occurred where onboard crew members of Symphony of Seas successfully rescued a person who went overboard off the western coast of Spain on October 29, 2023. It is still undetermined whether this person was a guest or a member of the roughly 2,200-man crew.

Regrettably, not all of these situations have a happy ending. The most recent incident involved a 20-year-old man who fell overboard from Liberty of the Seas on April 4, 2024, during a 4-night Eastern Caribbean cruise starting and ending in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Despite the swift response from the Freedom-class ship and the US Coast Guard, the rescue operation was unsuccessful due to the missing guest remaining unfound after six days of relentless searching.

Over the 2023 holidays, a 41-year-old male passenger fell overboard about 127 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina, from Vision of the Seas on the night before Christmas Eve, December 23, 2023. The ship’s crew immediately initiated emergency protocols and contacted the US Coast Guard for assistance – but once again, the man was unfortunately not found.

Looking even further back, Wonder of the Seas – which is now the second largest cruise ship in the world after the arrival of Icon of the Seas – experienced a man-overboard incident last summer.

Read Also: Icon of the Seas vs Wonder of the Seas: A Giant Comparison

The passenger went into the water on August 29, 2023, while the 7,084-guest vessel was sailing just south of Cuba on a modified Western Caribbean itinerary to avoid a hurricane.

Few details were ever released about this crisis. But it is known that for approximately three hours, the massive cruise ship retraced its path, using spotlights, small crafts, and watchers to try to locate the missing person.

The situation was further complicated when a passenger onboard experienced a medical emergency, and the decision was made to stop the search in order to get the necessary treatment for the ailing guest. The person who went overboard was never found.

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