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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Coast Guard is searching for a man who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship near the Turks and Caicos islands.
According to the cruise line, the 35-year old man from Brazil was spotted by crew members intentionally jumping from the seventh deck of the 1,100-foot ship to a lifeboat below around 1 a.m. It’s unclear if he missed the raft or if he landed on it but somehow he ended up on a davit which is used to raise and lower the raft.
A passenger captured cell phone video of the chilling and frantic scene as passengers and crew members desperately tried to pull the man back to safety. In the video, you could see people leaning over the deck trying to grab hold of him. It seems, at one point, he lost his grip.
The cruise ship stayed in the area to conduct a search and sent out two smaller boats to assist.
“Our report was that he jumped onto the life boat and subsequently fell into the water but regardless of how he ended up in the water. We’re just concerned with finding him,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty officer Mark Barney. “I’m not aware if he was thrown a life ring but I do know he was not wearing a life jacket.”
Royal Caribbean issued the following statement on the matter saying, “On Friday November 6, while Oasis of the Seas was at sea, 17 miles east of Turks and Caicos Islands, a 35-year-old male guest from Brazil went overboard. He was spotted by Oasis of the Seas crew members intentionally going over the side of the ship. A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched and is currently assisting us with the search. Our Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
The Oasis of the Seas left Philipsburg, St. Maarten on Wednesday and was sailing to its final stop at Port Everglades.