Australian man who fell off cruise ship identified, as ‘heartbroken’ family issues statement – Sky News Australia

Australian man who fell off cruise ship identified, as ‘heartbroken’ family issues statement - Sky News Australia

The Australian man who fell overboard a cruise ship enroute to Hawaii has been identified as Warwick Tollemache.

Crews on board the Quantum of the Seas conducted an immediate search for the 35-year-old about 11pm on Tuesday evening (local time).

The search was suspended on Thursday after the ship’s crew, the United States Coast Guard and the US Navy failed to locate him in the water during a large-scale hunt.

A widespread amber alert was also sent out via radio to notify nearby ships in the effort to find Mr Tollemache.

His family devastated family confirmed he had fallen overboard and remembered him as a “gentle soul” in an emotional statement.

“Our family is heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Warwick,” his mother Mandy Tollemache wrote to social media.

“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.”

Coast Guard search and rescue coordinator Kevin Cooper said the “difficult decision” to suspend the search came after discussions with his family.

“After reviewing all relevant information of the case and discussing it 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,” he said in a statement.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, who operate the cruise ship, said their “deepest sympathies” were with his loved ones.

“While on its trans-pacific sailing, a guest onboard Quantum of the Seas went overboard,” it said in an earlier statement.

“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and worked closely with local authorities.

“Out of respect for the family, we will not share further details about this unfortunate event. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his loved ones at this time.”

Search suspended for man overboard ship due to ‘vastness of the Pacific’

While it is unclear how Mr Tollemache fell, passenger Ken Carcas told Sky News Australia, according to multiple other passengers, “two crew him saw him go overboard”

“A lady heard a scream, went out onto the balcony and saw him drop past, hit the tender below and fall into the water,” he said on Thursday.

He added the captain immediately made an announcement and begun the search. 

Maritime lawyer James Walker on Friday revealed to Sky News Australia that he believed the cruise ship did not have an Automatic Man Overboard System.

“In the US, there’s legislation requiring cruise ships to have automatic man overboard systems – notifying them that someone’s gone over the rails,” he told Peter Stefanovic.

“Through infrared technology and radar technology, they can actually track the person in the water. This particular ship – it did not have a man overboard system.

“This specific cruise line also has a policy not to permit the captain to turn the ship around until they first notify the home headquarters here in Miami, advising them that there’s been a man overboard before they can begin search and rescue operations.”

The cruise ship Quantum of the Seas has since arrived at Kona, a Hawaii island, after departing from Brisbane on April 12.

Passengers disembarked for some time at the tourist destination before boarding again to arrive at the final stop of Honolulu on Friday.

The tragedy followed the death of a woman on board the same cruise, after she suffered a medical emergency in an unrelated incident.


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