Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom of the Seas was struck by tragedy yesterday afternoon. A child who was allegedly being dangled out of an 11th-floor window of the docked ship by her grandfather fell 150ft to the concrete below and died. Freedom of the Seas was in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, at the time. The 18-month-old tot was rushed to hospital at around 4.30pm local time yesterday (9.30pm UK time) but passed away.
Cruise death: Toddler dies on Royal Caribbean ship after being dropped 150ft
The toddler is said to have hailed from Indiana, USA, according to local news site Primer Hora.
She was on holiday on the Royal Caribbean ship with her parents and grandparents.
A police investigation has now been launched into the incident. CCTV is being examined and other passengers interviewed.
Elmer Román, of the local Department of Public Security, said: “Police have now launched an investigation and are trawling CCTV of the ship.
“At this time (the Division of) Homicide is in place. It has not been possible to interview the family. It is a very strong scene, very sad and tragic.
“At one point, one of her grandparents… in an act of games, exposes the girl to the void and falls out of his hands.”
According to Primer Hora, the ship’s departure was delayed, with the captain issuing condolences over loudspeaker.
Crew and passengers were also said to have been moved away from the scene of the incident.
Freedom of the Seas was ending a seven-day southern Caribbean cruise of Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados at the time of the girl’s death.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We are assisting local authorities in San Juan, PR as they make inquiries after an incident aboard Freedom of the Seas earlier today. We do not have further information to share at this point.”
The vessel is the 15th largest ship in the world and accommodates nearly 5,000 passengers and crew.
Cruise ship crew have a code word for when someone falls overboard, revealed former employee Joshua Kinser.
Kinser told Express.co.uk that “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” signified someone had fallen overboard. h
“This only occurred a few times on the ships I was aboard, but it seems to happen much more aboard cruise liners than most passengers probably think,” he said.
“The main thing to avoid seems simple enough, but so many passengers do it, and that’s leaning over the rails of the cruise ship, or even worse, climbing over the rails or sitting on top of the rails.”
Michael McGarry, senior vice president of public affairs at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), said incidents were “nearly always found to be the unfortunate result of intentional or reckless acts.”
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