Man seen falling from cruise ship had ‘altercation’ over anti-gay comments, says lawyer
A man who was filmed falling from the balcony of a cruise ship had an altercation with staff over homophobic comments, his lawyer has alleged.
Bernardo Albaz was seen on video footage falling from the Royal Caribbean ship on Friday morning.
According to company, Mr Albaz jumped from the Oasis of the Seas ship intentionally, and staff were not able to stop him.
A video circulating online shows Mr Albaz clinging to a lifeboat after he fell
However, Mike Winkleman, Mr Albaz’s lawyer, said the man and his husband Eric, had been involved in an “altercation” in one of the ship’s bars.
Mr Winkleman has said the couple heard staff say “Hi, lipstick”, and that they believed the comment was homophobic.
The lawyer said: “Bernardo ended up getting in a huge altercation and ended up in his cabin where he was furious and ultimately Royal Caribbean security came to the scene.
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“As a result of the altercation in his cabin Bernardo falls off his balcony onto the life boat area.”
The company which operates the cruise, Royal Caribbean, said in a statement: “Our onboard security team responded to the guest’s stateroom after a neighbouring guest complained about a domestic dispute on the guest’s balcony.
“Our staff did not have a physical altercation with the guest and were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony. Royal Caribbean is deeply saddened by this event.
“We will continue to provide assistance to the family as well as law enforcement.”
The ship left Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a week-long trip.
While the Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 plane from Clearwater, an MH-60 helicopter also searched for the man, and the cruise ship sent two boats.