Video shows a brawl erupting on a cruise ship after a passenger fell overboard and died off the coast of Florida.
Around 5 a.m. on Thursday, a 36-year-old female passenger aboard the MSC Meraviglia cruise ship fell off the vessel, which has a capacity of 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members. The cruise ship was sailing from Ocean Cay in the Bahamas to Port Canaveral, Florida.
The ship's advanced man overboard detection system alerted the crew that a passenger had gone overboard. The ship's crew carried out an immediate search and rescue operation off the coast of Port Canaveral.
Cruise passenger Marisa Aebi told the Daily Mail that the ship turned around "very fast." She added, "We were all told to go to and stay in our rooms as they did a head count."
The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and joined the search for the overboard woman with boats and a helicopter.
The Coast Guard said that the woman's body was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean approximately 18 miles off the coast of Port Canaveral around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
MSC Cruises issued a statement: "Unfortunately, despite the rapid rescue operation, the passenger sustained fatal injuries. We are offering our full support to authorities as they investigate this matter. We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our sincerest condolences to the family and those affected."
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
The MSC Meraviglia cruise ship returned to Port Canaveral.
Aebi said that "several fights broke out" during the disembarkation "over how long it was taking to get off." She also claimed that several people were arrested for the brawl on the cruise ship.
According to a Report on Operational Incidents issued by the Cruise Lines International Association, 212 cruise passengers fell overboard between 2009 and 2019. There were approximately 30 million cruise passengers in 2019, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
In November, a man fell overboard from a Carnival cruise ship. He was able to survive in the open sea for up to 15 hours until the Coast Guard rescued him.