A man reportedly went overboard from Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas last night, according to a passenger on the cruise ship.  His twitter account contains a graphic reference to the recovery of the overboard man’s body by a rescue boat. The passenger states that the person apparently went overboard around 3:00 a.m. last night, as the cruise ship was sailijng from St. Kitts to St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.


There is a second video poster online which shows the deceased man in the rescue boat, which we are not posting here. It is currently unknown whether the overboard person was a passenger or a crew member.

Royal Caribbean is one of the cruise lines which have not installed automatic man overboard systems, like this or this, which would instantly send a signal to the bridge when someone goes over the rails. Sophisticated motion detectors will signal an alarm when the person goes overboard. Radar and infrared technology will then track the person in the water, even at night, increasing the prospects of a successful search and rescue.

Royal Caribbean says that the technology is not reliable, according to a comprehensive article written by Rosie Spinks for Quartz titled People fall off cruise ships with alarming regularity. Can anything be done to stop it?

According to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein, there have been 347 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000.

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August 14, 2019 Update: Royal Caribbean, which does not respond to our requests for information, issued a statement to the popular Cruise Hive:

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred on the Symphony of the Seas en route to Saint Thomas this morning. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time.

Upon the initial report that an Australian adult male had gone overboard, our ship immediately turned, launched a rescue boat, and conducted a full-scale search. We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation.”

August 15, 2019 Update: Australian Cruise Ship Passenger Falls Off Royal Caribbean Boat, Videos Deleted From Twitter.

August 16, 2019 Update: Sun Man who died going overboard on Royal Caribbean cruise revealed as boss of top UK firm Rockstar Jonathan Pfahl.

Video credit: @Josh_Mackey15 via Twitter; Symphony of the Seas – Darthvadrouw – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.