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16-Year-Old Boy From Pacific Slips And Falls From Deck Of Harmony of the Seas In Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A teenage boy died after falling from an eighth-floor balcony of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in Haiti.

The 16-year-old was trying to enter his room on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas cruise ship through a nearby balcony on Friday when he slipped and fell to his death, according to witnesses.

Royal Caribbean did not offer details about the death, but its corporate communications manager, Owen Torres, confirmed that there’d been a tragedy on board.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of our guests in a tragic accident,” Torres said in a statement.

The Broward Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Laurent Mercer of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, a French island collectivity in the South Pacific.

Mercer was in the middle of a seven-day Caribbean trip with his family when the accident occurred, according to the Sun Sentinel.

“The ship’s medical team responded to the pier and attempted CPR, but the [boy] had sustained major head trauma and he was pronounced dead,” at 11:42 a.m., the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office said, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The ship departed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was docked in Labadee, Haiti, where Royal Caribbean owns a private resort.

The accident comes just weeks after a Harmony of the Seas crew member died after going overboard in the Atlantic Ocean while traveling from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten on Christmas Day.

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas docked in Labadee, Haiti
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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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