A woman who fell from the 10th deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was found alive after the crew scrambled to save her in an hour-long rescue effort.
“Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a report from the Cruise Ship Mariner of the Seas at approximately 5:44 p.m. Sunday that the ship’s crew had rescued a female passenger, 42, U.S. citizen, who had gone overboard,” Fox 35 reported, citing a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Officials with the USCG further revealed at the time of the incident the cruise ship was approximately 27 nautical miles south of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, en route to Willemstad, Curaçao.
A passenger who went overboard while on a cruise ship was safely rescued. It happened on Sunday aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, and people on board say the entire rescue took about 45 minutes. https://t.co/cE0pmxSJNZ
— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) June 27, 2023
Witnesses to the incident recalled passengers standing on their balconies with binoculars searching for the woman, whom many believed would not be found alive, if at all, given her fall from the 10th deck. (RELATED: 15-Year-Old Boys Falls Overboard On Cruise Ship, Dies)
“After we saw the life rafts or the life preservers and the smoke – I was like, ‘Someone just died,'” passenger Matthew Kuhn told Fox 35.
Cruise ship personnel contacted local authorities and searched for the woman “immediately” after her fall, Royal Caribbean said in a statement to the outlet. After nearly an hour of searching, the guest was “successfully recovered” and was brought back onboard, where she received assistance and support from the care team, the statement continued.
When the woman was brought safely aboard the ship, cheering and applause reportedly broke out.
To go from, ‘She’s probably not going to be found,’ – and … it’s a body recovery, versus ‘Holy crap, they found her, and she’s alive!'” Kuhn told the outlet.
The USCG announced that no medical evaluation was requested by Royal Caribbean for the passenger who was placed in the ship’s medical facility and later transferred to a Hospital in Willemstad, Curacao for evaluation. The USCG is currently investigating the circumstances which led to the passenger’s fall, the outlet reported.