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A 16-year-old teenager fell from the eighth floor of the cruise ship Harmony of the Seas, owned by the shipping company Royal Caribbean, Local 10 News reported today.
The cruise ship had left Port Everglades with a 7-night itinerary east of the Caribbean and was docked Friday in Labadee, Haiti, when the accident occurred. Apparently the victim, Laurent Mercer, fell while trying to access his room from a nearby balcony, after having forgotten his access card.
The incident was seen by one of the guests who notified the crew.
The first news of the event was announced by the guests of the ship through Twitter.
At first it was speculated that the cause of death was suicide, and it was even thought that the victim’s age was around 50 years.
The ship’s medical team found Laurent’s body and tried to resuscitate him, but they did not succeed. The young man was pronounced dead the next morning and his body was handed over to Florida authorities on Sunday when the ship returned to its home port in Fort Lauderdale.
The Harmony of the Seas is a cruise of 226. 960 tons and has a capacity for more than 5. 400 guests. A ship of such magnitude should be equipped to protect its passengers. However, cases of this type continue to appear.
Since 2010 there is a federal law that requires cruise ships to have installed a technology capable of alerting the crew when a passenger falls into the sea. However, most cruise companies have argued that on several occasions these types of systems give “false positives” and therefore are “inefficient”.
Two weeks ago, a 20-year-old member of the Harmony of the Seas crew, Arron Hough, fell overboard during the Christmas festivities outside of Aguadilla, some 429 kilometers from Puerto Rico.