A passenger went overboard from the Icon of the Seas this weekend after the Royal Caribbean cruise ship was heading toward Roatan, Honduras from Miami at the beginning of a 7 day Caribbean cruise. The popular cruise fan site, Cruise Hive, reported that a man went overboard when the Icon of the Seas was approximately 300 miles from Miami.

There are conflicting conclusions regarding how the passenger left the cruise ship and ended up in the water. Cruise Hive claims, in the headline of the article, that the passenger allegedly “jumped” although the text refers to tweets from passengers who stated that the passenger “jumped/fell” overboard or simply “went overboard.” The New York Post also reported that the man “jumped” and cited unnamed “officials” as the source of the conclusion. The Independent newspaper also stated that the passenger “reportedly jumped” according to the New York Post, but again cited no eye witnesses or closed circuit cameras as sources of the conclusion. The U.K.’s Daily Mail also reported that the man “jumped,” citing only Cruise Hive as the source of the information.

The initial tweets from Twitter (X) were to the effect that the passenger was rescued after approximately two hours. AIS tracking shows the cruise ship turned around and eventually returned to its earlier location. Yesterday morning, I initially reported that the man went overboard and was successfully rescued. Today, I awoke to learn the sad news that the man later died, apparently succumbing to his injuries from the fall from the 20 story ship. The details of exactly how and why the man went overboard are not known. We do not know whether he sustained serious injuries which led directly to his death or whether the two hour delay in the rescue also led to his demise.

The body of the passenger was apparently covered with a blanket when the rescue craft used in the rescue returned to the cruise ship, as photos posted on Threads by noted cruise photographer Alfredo Zayas Cotto.

The Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s latest giant cruise ship which was introduced to much ballyhoo earlier this year. According to the Exploreist, the monster ship “boasts a 17,000-square-foot water park with six waterslides and seven pools — including the 40,000-gallon Royal Bay, which is the largest pool at sea — and Absolute Zero, the largest ice skating rink at sea.” To our knowledge the Icon of the Seas is not equipped with a state-of-the-art automatic man overboard system which may have led to a rescue faster than two hours.

According to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein, who maintains the definitive list of people going overboard and has testified before the U.S. Congress several times regarding cruise ship overboards, this was the 410th person to go overboard from a cruise ship (or ferry) in the last 24 years.

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May 28, 2024 Update:

The New York Post: Passenger Describes ‘Dystopian’ Scene on World’s Biggest Cruise Ship.

Image Credit: Icon of the Seas – Royal Caribbean via MarineLink; AIS tracking – CruiseMapper; Royal Caribbean rescue craft – Alfredo Zayas Cotto via Daily Mail.