Teen falls overboard world’s biggest cruise

Teen falls overboard world’s biggest cruise

A passenger who went overboard the largest cruise ship in the world this week has been identified as a 19-year-old university student from Washington state — who was holidaying with friends at the time, his family announced.

Sigmund Ropich, known to his loved ones as “boiboi,” was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas when he toppled into the waters off the coast of Cuba on Tuesday, according to his sister Savannah, the NY Post reports.

“He is a son, a big and a little brother, a cousin, an uncle, a nephew, a friend, a homie, a classmate, a co-worker, a neighbour!!!” the distraught sibling wrote on Facebook.

“I just want my brother home.”

Savannah said Sigmund was enjoying a trip with friends when he fell off the 230,000-ton vessel around 9pm on the second day of a seven-day voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida.

He is known as a “reserved” boy who was “always cool, calm, and collected,” she said.

There has been no sign of him in the three days since he vanished and officials are reportedly giving up hope.

“We were told by the Cuban officials that they are done searching in the ocean. They are continuing only on the coast and land. I have a strong feeling they’re going to end this search,” Savannah told Insider.

“We are very hopeful if they open [the] search back in the ocean … We need them to open it again.”

The Ropich family has been largely kept in the dark about Sigmund’s disappearance, the sibling said.

Royal Caribbean has refused to tell them how long the ship’s crew searched for the teen, though an industry blog reported that rescuers spent about three hours scouring the waves using spotlights, small craft and watchers after the ship turned around and retraced its route.

“The search crew needs to keep searching for our Boiboi!!!!” Savannah wrote. “We need answers, we need updates!!”

“We are so far away from him. Please bring this to their attention so we can bring him home!! Please lord!!!!!! Please he hasn’t even lived life yet lord.”

Royal Caribbean previously said it had been working with the US Coast Guard, but the military confirmed to The Post the search and rescue responsibilities fall under Cuban jurisdiction.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission