A woman died aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship bound for the Bahamas on Friday after she fell from her cabin’s balcony, with witnesses claiming that they were not allowed off the ship until an investigation was completed.
The woman, who has not been publicly identified, plunged about two stories from the balcony outside her room on the 14th deck of Elation, the Miami Herald reported. The ship departed Jacksonville on Thursday and was headed for a four-day Bahamas cruise, sailing near Freeport at the time of the incident.
“The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away,” Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family.”
Gulliksen noted that all balconies aboard the ship meet Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act standards. Carnival notified Bahamian law enforcement, the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department and is “assisting these agencies as the investigation continues,” Gulliksen said.
According to Maureen La Bryer, whose daughter and son-in-law are aboard the Elation, her family members were kept aboard the ship.
“We weren’t [allowed] off the boat to Freeport until they investigated it,” La Bryer’s daughter said in a text. “They were taking pictures [and everything.] … Her room is right by ours and this guy was guarding it the entire day and had the door half cracked pitch dark.”
“There was blood everywhere,” she added.