Mum's devastating plea as child falls between cruise ship and dock

Every parent's worst nightmare played out right in front of the eyes of one travelling family.

Every parent's worst nightmare played out right in front of one horrified mum earlier this week when her young son slipped from her view and fell between a cruise ship and dock, disappearing momentarily into the deep abyss.

Terrifying footage shows the moment the eight-year-old fell from a wharf in Palermo, Italy beside where the Enchantment of the Seas cruise was anchored.

Video reveals the dramatic encounter unravelled in a matter of seconds, with the child's hysterical mother's blood-curdling screams heard reverberating through the crowd.

People look down between the gap for the boy.
A mother's horrific screams can be heard while crowds desperately search for her son in the water at the dock at Palermo. Source: Corriere Della Sera

Terrifying scenes unravel as crews work to save child

"Where's my baby? Where is he? Where is he?!" the petrified mum shrieks repeatedly, as no sign of the boy is seen.

Soon after, the child's father leaps into the water as cruise staff wrangle ropes and life rafts down towards the pair as splashes and more commotion is seen.

It's believed the child was travelling with his parents around Italy — whom according to reports are from northern Europe — when the little boy broke free from his father's grip, slipping from the harbour wall before falling down the gap between the vessel and the wharf.

The boy seen returned to his family beside a stock image of the cruise.
The incident occurred as Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Sea cruise was docked in Palermo, Italy. Source: Corriere Della Sera / Wikimedia commons.

A crowd quickly gathers around the family as cruise crew, bystanders and the boy's father all work together to rescue him. Eventually, he reappears from the water and clutches onto the rope lowered by officials.

The boy was then hauled to safety, with his father also requiring assistance to exit the water.

No injuries are understood to have occurred.

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