Search continues for teen passenger who fell overboard from world’s largest cruise ship

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A 19-year-old college student named Sigmund Ropich has gone overboard from Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world. The incident occurred on August 29 during a seven-day trip from Florida to the Grand Cayman Islands. Despite ongoing search efforts, Ropich has not been found almost a week later. His sister, Savannah Ropich, has been in contact with the US Embassy in Cuba and expressed concern that the search may be called off. Cuban officials have shifted their search operation to the coastline and land.

The family of Ropich has very few details on his disappearance and the search efforts. Royal Caribbean is working with the US Coast Guard on the search, but the Cuban Border Guard is leading it since the incident occurred in Cuba’s territorial waters. Passengers on the Wonder of the Seas reported that their original journey had already been diverted due to Hurricane Idalia. The ship, which can accommodate 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members, turned around to retrace its route during the search.

There has been conflicting information regarding the circumstances of Ropich’s overboard incident. A woman claiming to be a passenger on the ship posted on TikTok stating that the captain announced video evidence of Ropich jumping overboard. However, Ropich’s sister dismissed this claim as misinformation. The US Coast Guard will be able to conduct an investigation once the Wonder of the Seas docks back in the US.

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