The Australian man who went overboard from Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, on a transpacific cruise has been identified as Brisbane man, Warwick Tollemache, 35.

In a statement to social media, his family said: “Our family is heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Warwick. He was a kind, beautiful, and gentle soul who was adored by everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed. We kindly ask for privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding.”

The search and rescue mission coordinator, Kevin Cooper from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu told ABC News the man’s next of kin had been consulted before making the decision to call of the search.

“After reviewing all relevant information of the case and discussing with our Australian consulate counterparts as well as with the next of kin, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas,” Mr Cooper said.

Warwick Tollemache fell out of the Quantum of the Seas near Hawaii.
Warwick Tollemache fell out of the Quantum of the Seas near Hawaii. Picture: Facebook

Yesterday, the US Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast – a widespread radio message to alert ships in the area to a distress situation – to all vessels in the Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, to help look for the man.

After six hours of searching, a C-130 Hercules helicopter was forced to turn back to Hawaii to refuel.

Quantum of the Seas had made a stop in Tahiti and was cruising towards Honolulu when the man went overboard early on Wednesday morning AEST.

The ship had departed from Brisbane on a 17-day cruise to Hawaii on April 12 and was due to arrive in Honolulu on April 28.

“While on its trans-Pacific sailing, a guest onboard Quantum of the Seas went overboard. The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and is working closely with local authorities,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

Passengers were told to return to their cabins and ensure all their travelling companions were accounted for during the search before being allowed to leave their rooms 90 minutes later.

Spotlights were used in the desperate late-night search for the passenger.

Newlywed Aimee West, who is on the cruise on her honeymoon said in a Facebook post, “Matt and I are safe, yes this is our cruise and we witnessed the attempts to locate the Australian man in the middle of the ocean and at night,’ she posted on Facebook.

“I can’t say enough about the crew on Royal Caribbean International, professional and continued to provide us updates when they could.”

It was earlier reported that the man was the husband of a woman who had passed away earlier on the ship. The incidents were unrelated.