Indiana Toddler Has Fatal Fall From Royal Caribbean Ship

freedom of the seas aerial exterior royal caribbean
Freedom of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean's larger ships, holding over 3,600 passengers. - Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Sad news out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday. A 19 month old fell to the pier from a window on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas after apparently slipping out of her grandfather’s arms.

Media reports say that her grandfather slipped and fell while holding the girl by a window on deck 11, and she tumbled out, hitting the concrete of San Juan’s Pan American dock approximately 150 feet below. She later died at a local hospital. The extended family, from Indiana, included the toddler’s parents, both sets of grandparents, and her brother.

Deck 11 is the main pool deck, the only place on Freedom of the Seas which would have open windows. The homicide division of the Department of Public Security in Puerto Rico is investigating the death, and security camera footage has been requested by Prosecutor Ivette Nieves, who conducted interviews with other passengers who saw the fall.

san juan puerto rico cruise port
A cruise ship docked at the Pan American pier in San Juan - Photo by Google Earth

Nearby passengers mentioned that they noticed something was wrong when they heard the mother cry out. “I looked because of the mother’s cry. That tonality, a scream of pain of that nature, does not compare with any other scream,” one said.

Anthony Maceira, Puerto Rico’s Secretary for Public Affairs, called the accident “a real tragedy” and said “The [Department of Public Safety] is working the issue with the seriousness and sensitivity required.”

Passengers and crew were ushered to the other side of the ship, facing out towards the water while police began their investigation. A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean told dailymail.com “We are assisting local authorities in San Juan, PR as they make inquiries after an incident aboard Freedom of the Seas earlier today. We do not have further information to share at this point.” 

The captain of the vessel shared his condolences over the ship’s intercom, and told passengers that the departure from San Juan would be delayed. The ship left port after 10 pm local time. 

Information: Daily Mail and People

 

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