Australian man who fell overboard on cruise ship identified as Warwick Tollemache

The Brisbane man was weeks into his holiday when he fell overboard.

The Australian man who fell overboard from a cruise ship earlier this week has been identified as 35-year-old Warwick Tollemache, the ABC reports.

The Brisbane man was holidaying on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas when he went over the railings, some 1,400 kilometres south of Hawaii on Tuesday evening (local time).

In a heartfelt statement, a family member said the "gentle soul" would be deeply missed.

"Our family is heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Warwick," Mandy Tollemache wrote on Facebook on Friday.

Brisbane man Warwick Tollemache fell overboard a cruise ship on Tuesday evening. Source: 9 News
Brisbane man Warwick Tollemache fell overboard a cruise ship on Tuesday evening. Source: 9 News

"He was a kind, beautiful, and gentle soul who was adored by everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed.

"We kindly ask for privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding."

US Coast Guard suspends search

An immediate rescue mission was conducted by crew, however this morning they have made the tragic choice to end the search after discussions with his next of kin.

"The coast guard has made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas," mission coordinator Kevin Cooper said in a statement.

The cruise ship initially released six life rings and stayed in the area for two hours before continuing their journey to Honolulu where passengers disembarked after 15 days at sea. After an extensive search from the US Coast Guard over several days, the search was suspended.

Warwick Tollemache can be seen wearing a navy cap with his jacket hood up while smiling at the camera while on a boat, with the ocean in the background.
Mandy Tollemache, a relative of Warwick, said the family are 'heartbroken' and share he will be 'deeply missed'. Source: Facebook

Cruise passengers left wondering 'what was going on'

A passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas at the time of the incident told Nine's Today program they were awoken at night by the ship's sudden halt.

"We were wondering what was going on and it was followed by an announcement over the intercom saying that a passenger had gone overboard," Susan Whittington said.

"You couldn't really see much, just the lights searching the area, but then it was very late at night."

"It was almost impossible to see anything in the water, so we didn't hold hope for there being an outcome from it. It was quite distressing and there weren't a lot of details after that."

The circumstances which led to Mr Tollemache falling overboard are currently unclear.

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