Australian man dies after falling off cruise ship in Virgin Islands

An Australian man has died after falling overboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship travelling through the United States’ Virgin Islands.

The Symphony of the Seas cruise liner had left St Kitts bound for St Thomas Thursday morning (local time) when the tragedy struck.

Nickella Battle, a reporter for US TV outlet 7News Miami, was on board at the time, and said she was on her balcony later that afternoon when the captain announced the news.

The cruise was sailing through the Virgin Islands when the man fell overboard. Source: File/Getty Images

“I was on the balcony of my stateroom at around 3:30pm. The captain was on the intercom. He was like, ‘Oh, a man fell overboard, and unfortunately he was deceased’,” Ms Battle said.

The captain informed the passengers the man had been confirmed dead about 4am that morning.

“I looked out from my balcony and everybody was taken aback. You could see everyone standing in their tracks.”

A statement from Royal Caribbean Cruises said it was “deeply saddened by the tragic incident”, explaining it had exhausted all search efforts to recover the man.

A woman was on her balcony when the captain announced the man died. Source: File/Getty Images

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time.

“Upon the initial report that an Australian adult male had gone overboard, our ship immediately turned, launched a rescue boat, and conducted a full-scale search.

“We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation.”

The identity of the man had not been released.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was looking into the matter.

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