21 Dec 2013

Body recovered after cruise ship fall

6:31 pm on 21 December 2013

A body has been recovered from the water after a man fell overboard from a cruise ship off the Queensland coast.

The male passenger was seen falling from the luxury liner, Rhapsody of the Seas, at about 2:00am local time Saturday.

Rhapsody of the Seas docked at Sydney harbour in 2012.

Rhapsody of the Seas docked at Sydney harbour in 2012. Photo: AFP

The ship was 550 kms east of Brisbane on a trip from Sydney to New Caledonia in the South Pacific, ABC reports.

A passenger witnessed the man falling overboard and raised the alarm.

The fall was also captured on CCTV.

In a statement, the cruise ship's owner Royal Caribbean International said the ship stopped and turned around after hearing the passenger was missing.

It alerted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and another cruise ship, a merchant ship and a Queensland Government plane were called in to help search for the man.

Authorities say the body was spotted by crew from the Rhapsody of the Seas six hours after the man fell overboard.

The body has been pulled from the water and the company says support is being given to the man's family and friends.

Investigations are underway and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The cruise ship left Sydney on Thursday.