The passenger who tragically fell overboard from the world’s largest cruise ship has been identified as a college student from Washington State who was partying on vacation with his friends.
Sigmund Ropich, 19, was on board Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas off Cuba when it rolled over into the sea on Tuesday evening, according to his heartbroken family.
“I just want my brother to come home,” his sister Savannah wrote in a Facebook post. “He’s a son, a big and a little brother, a cousin, an uncle, a nephew, a friend, a pal, a classmate, a colleague, a neighbor.”
She added there was ‘an army pushing him to come home’ but admitted the extensive search for the teenager was winding down after failing to find him in the days that followed. his disappearance.
Sigmund Ropich, 19, has been identified as the man who fell overboard from the world’s largest cruise ship on Tuesday.
The massive 230,000 tonne cruise ship, which can carry 7,000 passengers and 2,3000 crew, was two days into its seven-day itinerary after leaving Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday.
His sister Savannah shared a heartbreaking update on her brother’s disappearance, in which she pleaded for people to help the search, saying, “I just want my brother to come home.”
The 230,000-ton cruise ship had been two days into its seven-day itinerary around the Western Caribbean after leaving Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday when tragedy struck.
Videos shared on TikTok captured the moment those on board were told of the passenger overboard, as the captain made a chilling announcement to those on board as rescue crews “searched for three hours and half”.
Ropich, affectionately known as “boiboi” by those close to him, is a “cool, calm and collected” person, Savannah said, adding in separate Facebook posts that she was “not giving up” on finding him.
However, despite repeatedly asking authorities to continue the search, she said crews were preparing to call a halt to the hunt after three days of searching the ocean with no results.
“Cuban officials told us they were done searching the ocean,” she said. Insider.
“They continue only on the coast and on land. I have a strong feeling that they are going to put an end to this research.
Savannah said she and her family had been left in the dark about the search, adding that she was “very hopeful if they open (the) search in the ocean” that Sigmung could be found.
“We need them to open it again,” she added.
Ropich (center), affectionately known as “boiboi” by those close to him, was described as a “cool, calm and serene” person.
The distraught 19-year-old’s sister said she was ‘not giving up hope’ and would find hope again, even though rescue teams told her ‘they’re done looking in the ocean”.
The Wonder of the Seas was off Cuba when the person fell overboard and turned back to assist crews in the search.
Crews reportedly called in small vessels, searchlights and lookout teams when the 19-year-old fell overboard, and the huge cruise ship swung back on its way in hopes of find it.
Distraught passengers have shared the alarming moment Ropich fell overboard, with a member of staff heard in a video saying: “We have reports of a man overboard. We slowed the vessel down, turned around and returned to the position we had at the time.
“We will start search and rescue operations with our lifeboats, our crew will be ready to search for anything.”
A passenger on board shared TikToks regarding the incident. In a video, she says: “Tonight we have a missing person, someone is in the water as we speak.
“We saw rescue teams looking for the person, as soon as we find out anything I will let you know.”
The woman then pans her camera to show a rescue team in the water. She said, “It’s the research boat, but I’m not sure anyone will survive this current.”
In the video, the small rescue boat can be seen bobbing through the murky waters in search of the person.
In an update, she said: ‘He had jumped ship, they searched for three and a half hours and they couldn’t find his body.
“They had to stop the search because there was a sick person on board, and now it’s certain that his body will never be found.” It’s so sad.
“I pray for his soul and his family, God bless you all.”
The Wonder of the Seas had already been diverted from its original route due to Hurricane Idalia, which hit Florida with record storm surge this week, passengers said.
According to Business Insider, this is the sixth person to fall overboard on a cruise ship in the past three months.
In May, another young student, Cameron Robbins, also fell overboard in similar circumstances to Ropich.
Robbins, 18, was a star high school baseball player and college graduate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was partying with friends when he jumped off the sunset cruise ship Blackbeard’s Revenge as celebrating his high school graduation near Athol Island, Bahamas. .
The search for the 18-year-old was halted after two days.
Other earlier incidents have occurred on cruise ships Carnival Magic, Carnival Elation, Spectrum of the Seas, Emerald Princess and Mariner of the Seas. Only one of the passengers was successfully rescued.
An average of 19 people fall overboard on cruise ships each year, of which around four people are successfully rescued, according to a 2020 report commissioned by trade group Cruise Lines International Association.
Ropich is the sixth person to fall overboard on a cruise ship in the past three months
In May, another student, Cameron Robbins, 18 (left), also fell overboard while partying on a cruise ship with friends near a Caribbean island.
The mega-ship is 1,188 feet long and features 18 decks and includes amenities such as a card room, jogging track, laser tag, mini golf, outdoor movie screen, climbing walls, solarium, karaoke and a “vitality spa”.
Following the incident in which Ropich fell overboard, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said, “On August 29, a guest sailing on Wonder of the Seas fell overboard.
The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and are working closely with local authorities.
The Wonder of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world, measuring 1,188 feet in length and boasting 18 decks. At capacity, the ship can accommodate nearly 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew.
It’s home to the largest water park at sea, which Royal Caribbean touts as a “lost island adventure where vacationers can test their limits and reach new heights.”
It was built in Saint-Nazaire, France, and it took three years for the 1,188-foot (362 m) long vessel to be ready for passengers.
On the occasion of the completion of the work, a traditional flag-changing ceremony took place in Marseille with Royal Caribbean’s partner shipyard, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Wonder weighs 236,857 tons, has 18 decks, 24 guest elevators, 2,867 cabins and can accommodate up to 6,988 guests, supported by 2,300 international crew members.
It has an 82-foot (25 m) long and 10-deck high zipline as well as Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea at 10 stories.
The cruiser also features a Central Park area which includes “the first living park at sea, home to over 20,000 plants” and multiple “neighborhoods”.
One of them is the “Neighbourhood Suite”, offering guests an “elevated Sun Deck Suite with a plunge pool, bar and lounge chairs”.
There’s also a cantilevered pool bar named The Vue and Wonder Playscape – an interactive outdoor play area for kids with “awesome views”.
Other amenities include a card room, jogging track, laser tag, mini golf, outdoor movie screen, rock climbing walls, solarium, karaoke, and a “vitality spa.”