Royal Caribbean has confirmed that a man fell overboard from its cruise ship Liberty of the Seas on Sunday. The ship, which often docks at Port Everglades, was about 20 miles off the coast of Marathon and returning to dock at Fort Lauderdale when a passenger reported seeing a man fall into the water around 9 p.m. Sunday.
The Coast Guard has been actively searching the waters for the man and told the ship that it was free to return to Port Everglades as it conducted the search.
According to Royal Caribbean, footage from the ship's closed-circuit camera shows a man climbing over the railing on deck 12, then falling over into the ocean. The ship's GPS was able to mark the location of the Liberty of the Seas at the time of the fall, and that is where the Coast Guard has focused its search.
"Early Monday 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," the Royal Caribbean statement says. "Royal Caribbean’s Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them."
As of Monday morning, the Coast Guard has had a chopper and a cutter circling the area where the man reportedly fell. Two Canadian Coast Guard ships that were in the area joined in the search.
Liberty of the Seas had been returning from a four-night cruise in Cozumel, Mexico, after sailing from Port Everglades.
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It's unclear if the man fell accidentally or if he jumped.
Three years ago, a man purposely jumped from a Carnival Cruise ship 25 miles off Ponce De Leon. In that incident, a security guard reported seeing a man leap into the water from the tenth deck, approximately 87 feet.
We'll update this story as we get more information.
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