MELBOURNE, Fla. (USA TODAY/AP) — As Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas returned to Port Canaveral following an outbreak that sickened hundreds, a teen died after falling from the company’s sister ship, Harmony of the Seas.
Officials say 16-year-old Laurent Mercer died Friday after falling from the ship on to a pier in Haiti. The Broward Medical Examiner’s Office announced Mercer’s death on Monday, The Sun Sentinel reported. Mercer was on a seven-day Caribbean trip with his family when he died.
Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas was docked at Labadee, Haiti, where the company owns a private beach. Officials say Mercer apparently didn’t have his room card and attempted to enter his eighth-floor room from an adjacent balcony before losing his footing and falling.
Local authorities responded. The body was turned over to the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office when the ship returned Sunday to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
The teen was from the French island collectivity Wallis and Futuna.
About the same time, Oasis of the Seas was on its way back to Port Canaveral — a day earlier than expected — after a Norovirus outbreak.
Of the 6,285 passengers on the ship, 561 (8.91 percent) reported being ill during the voyage out, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, 31 of 2,169 (1.45 percent) of crew members reported being ill.
Royal Caribbean officials initially reported Jan. 10 that 250 people on board had become ill after the ship’s stop in Haiti. Stops in Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico, were canceled so the ship could return to Port Canaveral.
Norovirus, commonly referred to as the “stomach flu,” is an infection that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.