Home / Top Story / Brazilian man fell, did not jump, from cruise ship: lawyer

Brazilian man fell, did not jump, from cruise ship: lawyer

A Brazilian man who fell from the balcony of a cruise ship did not jump intentionally, the family’s attorney said, but fell in an altercation with crewmembers who hurled anti-gay remarks at him.

Royal Caribbean’s initial statement said that Bernardo Elbaz had jumped from the balcony outside his stateroom on the Oasis of the Sea ship, but Mike Winkleman, the Elbaz family lawyer, told reporters that this was untrue.

Bernardo Elbaz, 35, allegedly jumped from the balcony of the Oasis of the Sea cruise ship because of anti-gay comments from crewmembers.WTVJ

Bernardo Elbaz, 35, allegedly jumped from the balcony of the Oasis of the Sea cruise ship because of anti-gay comments from crewmembers.

“Royal Caribbean is saying this was a domestic dispute and a suicide,” Winkleman said. “It was anything but that.”

Elbaz was traveling on the cruise with his husband of one year, Eric. Crewmembers of the ship directed anti-gay comments at them, according to Winkleman.

“It’s my understanding that there were several different occasions when crew members made anti-gay remarks against this legally married couple, including saying things like ‘hi, lipstick,’” Winkleman said.

These comments were made repeatedly, according to the lawyer.

After another anti-gay comment directed at Elbaz in the Solarium Bar resulted in what Winkleman called a “huge altercation,” the 35-year-old ended up in his cabin where he was “furious,” according to the lawyer.

It is at this point that reports of the account conflict.

Royal Caribbean security reported to the scene, which was believed to be a domestic dispute on the balcony, according to the cruise ship’s statement on the fall.

Elbaz family lawyer Mike Winkleman told reporters that he did not jump intentionally but fell as a result of an altercation with the crew.WTVJ

Elbaz family lawyer Mike Winkleman told reporters that he did not jump intentionally but fell as a result of an altercation with the crew.

Winkleman said that the arrival of the crewmembers and an ensuing altercation in the cabin caused Elbaz to fall from the balcony onto the lifeboat area.

Winkleman admitted that Elbaz was intoxicated but did not intentionally go over the stateroom balcony.

What exactly occurred in the cabin before the fall is unclear, but Royal Caribbean maintained in its statement that “our staff did not have a physical altercation with the guest and were unable to prevent his jumping from the stateroom balcony.”

Shocking video footage from the ship shows Elbaz hanging onto the lifeboats with onlookers watching from above.

Video footage from the incident shows Elbaz hanging onto the lifeboats with onlookers watching from above. Royal Caribbean claims it was an attempted suicide after a domestic dispute between Elbaz and his husband.WTVJ

Video footage from the incident shows Elbaz hanging onto the lifeboats with onlookers watching from above. Royal Caribbean claims it was an attempted suicide after a domestic dispute between Elbaz and his husband.

He appears to lose his grip and falls into the ocean. Witnesses of the plunge can be heard screaming.

The U.S. Coast guard found a body matching the description of Elbaz, but was unable to recover the body. The search was suspended on Saturday.

“From what I saw from the video, there clearly appears to be a negligent rescue that was undertaken,” Winkleman said.

“In my eyes, more importantly than that is the anti-gay remarks that were made against these two gentlemen.”

The Elbaz family is considering legal action against the cruise line.

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Nation / World – NY Daily News

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