Passenger Who Plunged From Cruise Ship Was Victim of Anti-Gay Remarks, Attorney Says
A man went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship following anti-gay remarks, according to his attorney.
The cruise line claims 35-year-old Bernardo Albaz committed suicide, saying in a statement: "Our security team responded to the guest's stateroom after a neighboring guest complained about a domestic dispute... Our staff were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony."
But his family's attorney, Michael Winkleman, insists that's not true.
"There were a number of Royal Caribbean security guards that were actually in the room when this all went down and they were right there on the scene as Bernardo was hanging on for dear life over the side of the ship," Winkleman told INSIDE EDITION.
Albaz, who is gay, was traveling with his partner and his attorney claims they were the targets of anti-gay remarks by the crew.
"This was not a domestic dispute," Winkleman said. "This was an altercation directly implicating Royal Caribbean security that was all based on repeated anti-gay remarks that were made to this couple."
The man's distraught companion could be heard arguing with security staff in the video of the incident, saying: “Because of you this happened. Until he's on board I’m not going anywhere.”
The nightmare unfolded on the Oasis of the Seas - one of the biggest ships afloat. It left Florida last Saturday and was 70 miles east of the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos when Albaz plummeted into the ocean.
A passenger on the boat tweeted: “There was a struggle. Security tried to save him. It looks like he jumped.”
Searchers have failed to find any trace of the passenger.