Photo: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images
The Royal Caribbean cruise line reported that on Tuesday a 19-year-old passenger fell overboard from a cruise ship in the Caribbean, for which an active search is maintained.
A relative of missing Texas resident Sigmund Ropich said the family is desperate for answers and has not obtained much information from Cuban Border Guard officialswho direct the search.
“We just want our brother to be home. They are taking too long and barely telling us anything,” his sister Savannah Ropich told CNN, confirming that he was a passenger on the trip.
Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas set sail on August 27 from Port Canaveral, Florida, for a seven-day voyage through the western Caribbean, according to an itinerary.
It is unclear how the 19-year-old fell overboard nor exactly how long he was in the water before he began his search.
The crew on board the ship “immediately launched a search and rescue operation and are working closely with local authorities,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement on Wednesday.
Jenna Izzo, a Rhode Island resident who was on the cruise, used a voice recording app to capture the moment the captain told passengers about the search.
“In fact, we have a man overboard report. We have reduced the speed of the ship,” the ship’s captain told the passengers over the intercom, according to the voice note Izzo shared with CNN.
“We have turned around and we return to the position we had at that moment. We will start the search and rescue operations with our rescue boat, with our searchlight, with our crew outside and ready to search and listen for anything”, the recording continued.
Izzo also captured nighttime video showing a rescue team using the ship’s searchlight to search the waters. The cruise ship searched for three hours before continuing to Grand Cayman, according to Izzo.
The Cuban Border Guard is now leading the search for Ropich, according to Ropich’s sister, and a US Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed this to CNN.
Savannah Ropich said Friday that the US consulate contacted the family and said the Cuban Border Guard “will stop the ocean search and only do a coastal and land search.”
The ship, which has a capacity for 5,606 guests, will return to Port Canaveral on September 3according to the company.
At the end of May, a man also fell overboard from a cruise ship. Carnival Magic which was traveling off the coast of Florida.
the companion of Ronnie Peale Jr., 35, reported her missing on Monday afternoon and “an initial review of closed-circuit security footage confirms that leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dove into the water at approximately 4:10 a.m. MondayCarnival Cruise Line said in a statement to ABC.
His partner, Jennilyn Blosser, told the WRIC portal that the footage showed him leaning over the railing and appearing to have accidentally fallen off.
“It’s not like it was jumping, as you know, it wasn’t like that at all,” Blosser told the station.
Peale, from New Hope, Virginia, was on her first cruise and was celebrating Blosser’s birthday with her family, her mother Linda Peale said.
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