An Australian man who died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Virgin Islands was a highly-successful businessman who rubbed shoulders with a series of celebrities and high-profile figures.
Jon Pfahl has been remembered by peers as “an inspiration” and “a legend” who inspired hundreds of people through his line of work.
The 37-year-old was managing director and the face of successful mentoring business Rockstar Group based in London that offered advice and mentoring to entrepreneurs and growing businesses.
Starting the company in 2007, Mr Pfahl rapidly grew its reputation to the point where they were able to attract prominent faces such as Bob Geldof to company events.
A recent video shared to the company’s website shows Mr Pfahl exuding a passion for his business and mentoring others.
“You only live once, go out and do what you want to do,” he reveals as his favourite quote in the interview.
On his company’s Instagram page, one post shows Mr Pfahl meeting Sir Richard Branson, someone he describes as his “business hero”.
The University of Sydney graduate’s professional career was promising from the get-go, with Mr Pfahl landing work at Goldman Sachs where he spent nearly five years as an investment advisor.
Friend and cofounder of AmeriCamp, Lee McAteer, revealed his shock over Mr Pfahl’s death.
“Absolutely stunned to hear that Jon Pfahl has tragically passed away,” he said.
“JP was a true rockstar and helped so many people get their businesses going.
“Life is short. Leave your mark. JP your certainly did. RIP my friend.”
His friend and colleague, Karen Melonie Gould, described Mr Pfahl as a “Rock Star of Entrepreneurs”.
UK community organisation Yes Group took to Facebook to share their condolences.
"We are all saddened to hear about the loss of Jon Pfahl - Jonathan spoke on our stage in London, his enthusiasm to make a difference and take people on a journey was infectious. We will all miss him RIP Jon,” they wrote.
Mr Pfahl had been travelling with his wife and children on the Symphony of the Seas from St Kitts to St Thomas when he fell to his death early on Thursday morning (local time).
The cruise ship immediately turned back and dispatched a rescue boat in search of him between 3am and 4am, with the captain announcing later that a man’s body had eventually been pulled from the ocean.
It is unclear how Mr Pfhal fell from the cruise ship.
Investigations ongoing into Mr Pfahl’s death
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.
“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 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was investigating.
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