Toddler dies after falling 150ft from Royal Caribbean cruise ship when she slipped through grandfather's arms
A toddler fell overboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and died after her grandfather reportedly dangled her out of a window. The grandad reportedly lost his grip on the 18-month-old child before she slipped and fell from the 11th deck of the Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas ship, according to a Daily Star report.
The incident took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 7 at 4.30 pm local time, when the child reportedly fell directly onto the concrete below as the ship was docked. Tragically, the toddler was declared dead shortly after she fell.
The girl was reportedly from Indiana and was on holiday with her parents and grandparents when the tragedy occurred, according to local media.
Authorities have begun investigating the incident and are looking through CCTV footage of the ship. Furthermore, officers are interviewing passengers who witnessed the fall firsthand.
"Police have now launched an investigation and are trawling CCTV of the ship," said Elmer Roman from the local Department of Public Security. "At this time (the Division of) Homicide is in place. It has not been possible to interview the family. It is a very strong scene, very sad and tragic. At one point, one of her grandparents... in an act of games, exposes the girl to the void and falls out of his hands."
The captain of the ship gave his condolences to the child's family later on Sunday, July 7, and said the boat's departure would be delayed due to the tragedy, according to the outlet. The incident occurred just as the 4,000-passenger vessel was concluding a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise of Antigua, St Lucia, and Barbados.
According to reports, Freedom of the Seas is the 15th largest ship in the world. It boasts a height of around 210ft, and the 11th floor of the boat would have easily been close to 150ft high.
This is not the first time a young child has fallen from the upper decks of a cruise ship. A 14-month toddler fell from deck 12 to deck 11 of the Monarch of the Seas back in 2012. The child needed immediate medical attention and the ship turned back to Port Canaveral in Florida, where she was treated and later recovered.
Royal Caribbean is yet to respond to a request for comment.