Passenger describes ‘dystopian’ Icon of the Seas after man ‘jumped’ overboard

US News


A passenger described the “dystopian” scene on the world’s largest cruise ship after a man fell overboard and died on Sunday – including the premature celebration that erupted when passengers learned he had been removed from the water.

Zachary Normandin, 31, told the Post that some 300 passengers dining on Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas applauded when the captain informed the ship that the missing traveler had been found.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, billed as the world's largest cruise ship.
The incident occurred on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. Getty Images

“Everyone in the dining room clapped and we were like, ‘Yeah,’” the Connecticut resident said. “We assumed the guy was fine.”

But it then emerged that the passenger – who was not identified – was dead and the 1,200ft cruise ship continued its journey.

Normandin said he heard several other passengers say the man jumped from the ship, although the Coast Guard only said he fell overboard.

The result was an almost surreal atmosphere as most travelers continued to party as if nothing had happened.

“I don’t think everyone knows about this guy’s death. I think it’s kind of intentionally silenced,” Normandin said, adding that he doesn’t think Royal Caribbean wants to scare anyone.

The Icon of the Seas, which can carry up to 7,000 passengers and 2,000 crew, was on the first day of a seven-day voyage around the Gulf of Mexico when tragedy struck. He is not expected to return to Miami until June 1.

He made two stops, notably in Honduras and on the Costa Maya, Mexico.

The Coast Guard told The Post Monday evening that the cruise ship deployed rescue boats, located the man and brought him back on board.

“He was declared deceased,” the coast guard said.

The man was rescued from the water.
The man was rescued from the water. X / @davidcanter

Normandin, married with one child, said the captain of the Icon of the Seas initially revealed that a man had gone over the side of the ship and the ship was forced to turn around in the hope of finding the missing traveler.

“I thought we were going straight back to Miami, I thought that was it. But no, everything continued,” said Normandin, who posted part of the rescue mission on social media over the weekend.

Normandin said he was surprised at how many passengers were going about their business during the search, and afterward, although word spread, the passenger died.

“I think people just try not to think about it, maybe, I don’t know,” he said.

“It just seemed like more people would have said ‘oh my God, what’s happening’, but no, people were just going about their business. It’s just kind of a dystopia.

Weeklong trips on the mega-ship typically cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

Normandin said passengers he spoke with believed the man jumped from the ship because the area where he was last seen has tall glass barriers that would make an accidental fall impossible.

Royal Caribbean has not said much about the incident, citing the need to provide privacy for the grieving family.

“Prayers to the family, I just hope they pull through,” Normandin said. “I just wish I knew who they were so I could reach up and hug them or something.”

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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