Man Who Plummeted From Cruise Ship is ID'd as Family Blames Fall on Fight with Crew
The man who was filmed clinging to the side of a cruise ship before plunging into the Atlantic Ocean has been identified as 35-year-old Bernardo Albaz.
Albaz, who was Brazilian, was named by family on Saturday as his husband's attorney pointed an accusing finger at Royal Caribbean. He claims the company's crew members stood by as Albaz plummeted from his cabin balcony on Friday.
Attorney Mike Winkleman told reporters on Saturday that the tragedy - which cruise ship officials claim was a suicide - began with homophobic remarks made towards Albaz by Oasis Of The Seas crew members.
"There were crew members that made anti-gay remarks against this legally married gay couple, including saying things like, 'Hi, Lipstick,' and repeatedly saying it over and over to them," Winkleman said.
Winkleman claims an altercation occurred between Albaz, who'd been drinking, and staff members at the ship's Solarium Bar after his husband, Eric, returned to their cabin.
After Albaz himself returned to the cabin, Winkleman claims ship security followed and the scuffle only worsened.
"There was an altercation in the room involving Royal Caribbean security. He fell overboard, and Royal Caribbean was right there on the scene as he fell in," Winkleman said.
Royal Caribbean officials, meanwhile, painted a much different picture in a statement released to INSIDE EDITION in which they maintained - as reports initially suggested - that Albaz jumped.
"Our onboard security team responded to the guest's stateroom after a neighboring guest complained about a domestic dispute on the guest's balcony," it read.
"Our staff did not have a physical altercation with the guest and were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony."
Winkleman was not clear on whether the family intends to file a lawsuit but reiterated that Albaz's death was not a purposeful act.
"What we have is not a suicide. Bernardo did not jump. Bernardo fell over," he said.
After the incident, U.S. Coast Guard helicopters unsuccessfully searched a 931 square nautical mile area northeast of Mayaguana, Bahamas.
That search was suspended Saturday.