Australian man falls overboard Royal Caribbean ship en route to St. Thomas

Passenger says he saw victim's body being pulled from water

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Marcine Joseph - Assignment Editor

Photo courtesy: Josh Mackey

MIAMI - An Australian man fell overboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas ship early Wednesday morning while the cruise was en route to St. Thomas, Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres confirmed to ABC News.

"Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time," Torres said in a statement.

According to Torres, the ship immediately turned and launched a rescue boat when the man fell overboard.

Josh Mackey, a passenger onboard the ship, said he noticed search lights in the water between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

He said he later saw one of the rescue boats focus on a body bobbing up and down in the water and the body was eventually brought on board. 

According to Mackey, he could see another cruise ship nearby and wasn't sure whether the victim had fallen from his ship or the other.

He said he never heard an announcement about a passenger falling overboard or confirming a passenger death, but saw medical examiners on the dock after the cruise arrived at St. Thomas. 

"We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation," Torres said.

It's unclear how the man fell overboard.

The Symphony of the Seas currently sails seven-night cruises out of Port Miami. The ship leaves every Saturday.

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