A lawyer has accused Royal Caribbean staff of making anti-gay slurs against a Brazilian passenger who plunged into the sea around 1am last Friday morning.
Footage has emerged of 35-year-old Bernardo Albaz falling into the ocean of the Oasis of the Seas and is feared dead.
In the video, Mr Albaz can be heard clinging to a lifeboat yelling, “Because of you this happened. Let go of me. Get off me.” It appears he attempts to pull himself to safety but then loses his grip.
Mr Albaz’s lawyer, Mike Winkleman claims that there was an altercation between his client and Royal Caribbean security in his cabin, which led to the man falling off his balcony into the lifeboat area.
His lawyer also maintains that there were occasions where anti-gay remarks like ‘Hi, lipstick’ were directed at Mr Albaz and his husband Eric.
Immediately after the incident, Royal Caribbean issued a statement outline its version of events and offered its sympathies to the Albaz family.
“Our on-board security team responded to the guest’s stateroom after a neighbouring guest complained about a domestic dispute on the guest’s balcony,” said the cruise operator.
“Our staff did not have a physical altercation with the guest and were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony. Royal Caribbean is deeply saddened by this event. We will continue to provide assistance to the family as well as law enforcement.”
But when speaking with local media, Mr Winkleman said, “Royal Caribbean says this was domestic dispute and a suicide. It was anything but that.
“Bernado ended up getting in a huge altercation and ended up in his cabin where he was furious and ultimately Royal Caribbean security came to the scene.
“As a result of the altercation in his cabin, Bernado falls off his balcony onto the life boat area.”
CBS Miami reports Mr Albaz’s family is planning to sue Royal Caribbean and Mr Winkleman says the cruise ship staff should have done more to help.
Mr Albaz and his husband, Eric were onboard one of the biggest ships, which was around 27 kilometres from Turks and Caicos.
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