The 19-month-old girl plunged 150 feet from the vessel in San Juan on Sunday


The toddler is believed to have fallen from a window on the 11th deck - shown above the balconies - on Sunday afternoon

The toddler is believed to have fallen from a window on the 11th deck – shown above the balconies – on Sunday afternoon

A toddler has fallen to her death after slipping out of her grandfather’s arms on a cruise ship which was docked in Puerto Rico.

The 19-month-old girl from Indiana plunged 150 feet from the Royal Caribbean vessel in San Juan on Sunday afternoon.

Her maternal grandfather, identified as Salvatore Anello, is believed to have slipped and fallen while holding the toddler by a window on the 11th deck of the Freedom of the Seas ship.

Horrified passengers said they had heard a ‘cry of pain’ from the girl’s mother.

A diagram showing how the girl fell 150 feet from the ship's 11th deck on to the hard ground

‘[We heard] the screams of the families because we were close,’ a nearby passenger told Telemundo PR.

‘I looked because of the mother’s cry. That tonality, a scream of pain of that nature, does not compare with any other scream.’

The girl had a hard landing on the concrete of the Pan American dock in San Juan and died in hospital shortly afterwards.

The child and her extended family from Indiana were vacationing together aboard the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship, operated by the Royal Caribbean cruise line.

 Both her sets of grandparents, her parents and her younger brother were on board the ship at the time.

The child’s father has been identified by WSBT as South Bend police officer Alan Wiegand.

The South Bend Police Department in Indiana said in a statement: ‘The South Bend Police Department offers its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico. The department asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy.’

 A map showing San Juan in Puerto Rico where the girl fell to her death

The police chief Scott Ruszkowski disputed the statement issued by Puerto Rico police that the girl was being held out of an 11th-floor window.

Police Sgt Nelson Sotelo told The Associated Press that the family of the child will remain in the US territory until the investigation is complete.

‘They’re in shock,’ he said.

Department of Public Security official Elmer Román said the grandfather was playing a game with the child when she slipped from his arms.

The homicide division was investigating the death, he said.

‘It has not been possible to interview the family,’ he said, adding that they were being provided with medical and spiritual support.

El Vocero reported the grandfather was holding the child when he slipped and fell into the window, and the child then fell from his arms to her death.

People claiming to be familiar with the layout of the ship in an online forum said the 11th deck is a pool deck on the cruise ship, which would be the only place on the ship that would have open windows.

The call to authorities came in reporting the child’s fatal drop at 4.27pm Atlantic Standard Time, according to Primera Hora.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. told ‘We are assisting local authorities in San Juan, PR as they make inquiries after an incident aboard Freedom of the Seas earlier today.

‘We do not have further information to share at this point.’

Security camera footage from the ship has been requested by Prosecutor Ivette Nieves, who was conducting interviews with the passengers who observed the tragic fall.


Carnival to use platform ship to fix Vista

Image result for The Boka Vanguard
Carnival Cruise Line said it will hire a heavy lift vessel used in the oil and gas industry to enable repairs on the Carnival Vista’s underperforming azipod units.

The Boka Vanguard, built in 2012 and operated by the Dutch speciality shipping firm Boskalis, is the largest vessel of its type in the world, capable of transporting equipment of up to 117,000 tons.

Carnival will use the ship as a floating dry dock to pick up the Vista on its platform and transport it to Grand Bahama Island, where repairs will occur.

The Boka Vanguard is a bowless ship with a flat 230-by-920 foot watertight deck. The ship’s tanks will be filled with seawater to submerge it so that the Carnival Vista can be towed over it. Then the tanks will be evacuated, raising the Vista onto the Boka Vanguard’s platform.

The Boka Vanguard is expected to arrive in Bahamian waters on July 5 to prepare for Carnival Vista’s arrival on July 12. The loading, transport and repairs are expected to take approximately two weeks, allowing Carnival Vista to return to Galveston in time for its July 27 voyage, Carnival said.

The Carnival Vista’s azipod propulsion motors will have all of the bearings replaced while it is out of service. Carnival turned to the novel solution because the drydock it would normally use at the Grand Bahama Shipyard was damaged in April by crane collapse. The cranes were attempting a repair on the Oasis of the Seas, which also needed work on its azipods.

In 2013, Costa Cruises obtained a $30 million option on the Boka Vanguard for possible use in refloating the sunken Costa Concordia in Italy, but the option expired when Costa decided on a different method of raising it.

Engine problems on the Norwegian Pearl.

Thousands of passengers are stuck in Barcelona on a stricken cruise ship while another of its voyages has been cancelled with just days’ notice

Norwegian Pearl, which was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue - leaving passengers stranded in Barcelona
Norwegian Pearl

A mechanical issue has left thousands of cruise passengers stuck in Barcelona, while another of its voyages has been cancelled entirely with just days’ notice.

Norwegian Pearl was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue – causing it to travel at a slower speed.

The problem meant the ship, which has 2,300 guests on board, missed a stop in Palma, Majorca, as well as Monte Carlo and is currently stranded in the Spanish city.

Additionally, an upcoming cruise of the Greek Isles and Italy, which was due to depart on Friday (July 5), has been cancelled much to the fury of its passengers.

She said: ‘We were supposed to depart to Livorno at 6am and only miss the second port of call.

‘They changed it around 9am to tell us we may not be able to go to Civitavecchia (Rome), will not be travelling to Livorno, will be receiving a 50 per cent refund and credit for a future cruise. If guests wanted to fully disembark they were allowed to and to make other travel arrangements.

‘Then they announced we will not be sailing to Civitavecchia, our last port of call where most guests have flights booked. We are now kindly asked to disembark the ship by Friday at noon.’

A picture taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

A picture was taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

She continued: ‘A good portion of the guests aren’t from Europe and will be spending a lot in fees to get to another destination. They are reimbursing $300 for airfare costs and have given customers an hour of free WiFi.

‘However, flight tickets will soon run out or be price gouged.

‘I was fortunate enough to have a WiFi package so when the first announcement about disembarking came on, I just bought my family and I flights to Rome and a hotel room.

‘However, from what I’ve heard walking around, some of the flights are not remotely close to the $300 guests will be reimbursed.’

Another passenger Kelly Flint expressed her frustration on Twitter posting: ‘Stuck on Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. Already missed two shore stops. No info from NCL.

‘Learned on the internet that next cruise has been cancelled. Don’t know how to get to Rome for flights home. Come on NCL.’

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Jessica Monroe also took to social media to vent her anger.

‘Still stuck on the Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. They said we’d leave at 6am, pretty sure the engine still won’t start. Can they update us so I can book a flight out of Barcelona?’

While Simon also tweeted: ‘I was on the Norwegian Epic last February when we missed all ports of call due to engine problems. Used credits to book Norwegian Pearl – now cancelled due to engine problems. Want to vacation with you again but you’re not making it easy.’

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said: ‘On July 1, 2019, Norwegian Pearl, which is currently sailing a 13-day repositioning cruise from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean, experienced a mechanical issue which necessitates that she travel at a reduced speed.

‘As such, she did not call to Palma, Majorca, and instead sailed directly to Barcelona where further assessments were made.

‘Due to necessary repairs, Norwegian Pearl’s upcoming Greek Isles and Italy sailing departing on July 5, 2019, will be cancelled.

‘We recognise the disappointment and inconvenience our guests have experienced as a result of this unforeseen situation and we offer our sincere apologies.

‘Our team is working diligently to assist all of our guests, and we thank them for their continued support and loyalty.’