An eighteen-month-old girl from Indiana fell to her death while playing with her grandfather on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was docked in Puerto Rico on Sunday, July 7.
The child is reported to have accidentally slipped from the arms of her grandfather from a window in the dining hall on deck 11 of the Freedom of the Seas on to concrete, Port Authority spokesman José Carmona said. The dining area has large windows, and one pane was open.
“It’s a very grave scene, very regrettable and tragic,” Elmer Roman of the Department of Public Security of Puerto Rico told the Primera Hora newspaper. “One of the grandfathers, whom it would appear was playing with the little girl, lifted her out of the open window and lost his grip.”
She was rushed to hospital at around 4:30 p.m. local time yesterday but sadly pronounced dead a short time later.
The grandfather was Salvatorre Anello, according to ABC. The girl’s father is a police officer in South Bend, Indiana, officials confirmed Monday.
The department tweeted today to the officer and his family, asked the community to pray for and to respect the privacy of the entire family.
— South Bend Police (@southbendpolice) July 8, 2019
Friends and family paid tribute to little girl’s mother, Kimberley Schultz Wiegand, left comments after she posted pictures of her and her daughter on Facebook:
“Sweet angel. Praying for you and your family Kim.” Another wrote: “You are loved. Praying for you and your family. I’m so sorry.”
The boat has a height of around 210 feet and the 11th floor will have been around 150 feet above land level when the vessel was docked.
There were about 4,000 passengers on the ship and it was ending a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise of Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados at the time of the tragedy.
Royal Caribbean has been contacted for comment.
The investigation is ongoing.