Offshore InjuryBlog

Puerto Rico Cruise Ship Accident Claims Life of Child

A young girl has died after she fell off a cruise ship in Puerto Rico. The 1 ½-year-old fell from the 11th floor of the Royal Caribbean cruise liner Freedom of the Seas at the Panamerican dock in San Juan. She was a child of an officer from the South Bend, Indiana Police Department, the department confirmed. The family was traveling with two other siblings and two sets of grandparents.

"The department asks the community to pray for the entire…family as they grieve and to respect their privacy," the department said in a statement.

What Happened on the Freedom of the Seas?

According to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, the accident occurred after the girl’s grandfather sat her near the edge of a window near the ship’s dining hall. The girl fell after the grandfather lost his balance. The grandfather is from Valparaiso, Indiana and works in the IT department for St. Joseph County.

Authorities are still in the process of interviewing the girl’s family and are trying to find security footage of the incident. The family will remain in Puerto Rico until the investigation is complete, Sergeant Nelson Sotelo of the Puerto Rico Police Department confirmed. Nelson described the family as being “in shock.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises referred to the incident as a “tragic incident” and said that it was helping the family. However, the company did not provide any additional comments.

While investigators are determining what happened, officials are asking why the ship’s 11th-floor window was opened. Cruise ship operators and their crews have a responsibility to ensure that the safety of all passengers is preserved. When an accident occurs on a cruise ship, it is typically because crews and companies are not following proper safety protocols.

Arnold & Itkin’s cruise ship accident lawyers will continue to follow any updates for this story.

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