Authorities in Florida are investigating a tragic situation that took place on board a Virgin Voyages cruise ship on Sunday.
The boat had just left the Port of Miami and was headed south to a seaside destination in Honduras. Only a few hours into its journey, the captain announced the ship would be turning back home. A horrific accident has since come to light — a woman on board fell from a balcony and died. Not only that, she reportedly landed on another passenger on a lower deck.
News first started coming out early Monday morning about the confusion regarding the ship’s abrupt turnaround. A YouTube channel called The Shiplife first reported that the incident — which occurred on Virgin’s Valiant Mary — had been announced to passengers late Sunday evening.
In a video posted to the channel, that vlogger shared a recording from ship officials who initially confirmed the need to go back to Miami for medical assistance. Over the intercom, the first call about a serious problem came through like this:
“We are now headed back to Miami, and we’ll arrive around 1:30 a.m. At the moment, we do not have a departure time for tomorrow after our arrival, but we’ll share all relevant information with you as soon as we have updates.”
For the next few hours, travelers were left in a state of confusion.
As the vlogger recounted in his video, rumors spread like wildfire as passengers wondered what could have happened to make the ship turn around so suddenly after just beginning its journey:
“At the time, we didn’t know exactly what was going on … there were rumors stating that somebody had passed away but nothing was confirmed at the time.”
For hours, passengers were kept waiting as the ship docked in Miami. Then, early Monday morning, the captain again came over the intercom. In a second announcement, he explained a passenger had fallen on board and died and the ship was working with investigators on the matter. You can view the vlogger’s reaction video that first revealed the situation (below):
Later on Monday, Virgin officials confirmed the tragedy that had occurred on board. In a statement released to the media, a Virgin Voyages spokesperson said a woman — who has not been publicly identified — died on board the ship. According to the company rep, the woman fell over a balcony and down onto a lower deck:
“Yesterday evening shortly after departure there was a medical emergency involving one of our passengers. This passenger went over their balcony onto a lower deck, and despite receiving immediate medical attention, has passed away. We are deeply saddened by this loss of life and our hearts and thoughts are with this person’s loved ones.”
The spokesperson added:
“The ship was immediately redirected back to Miami, where the team are working closely with local officials.”
According to Insider, when the woman fell, she also landed on another passenger on the deck below. The Virgin Voyages spokesperson declined to confirm that, only noting the company was not going to disclose any further information.
However, on Monday afternoon, TMZ also reported the deceased woman fell on another person. Both outlets thankfully note that second person “was not injured” in the incident. Still, what a scary and tragic ordeal for everyone involved.
Here is more on the awful death and the Valiant Lady‘s investigative aftermath:
Surprisingly, the cruise ship has since set sail once again following the tragedy.
According to People, the vessel’s itinerary has changed: it is headed for Cozumel, Mexico instead of Honduras, and will make land there on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the company told the outlet that change came because of weather conditions in the Caribbean Sea and was unrelated to the fatal incident from this weekend.
What an awful event. We send our condolences out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the poor woman.
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