A cruise ship packed with over 3,500 World Cup soccer fans reported that one of their passengers, a Mexican national, is missing. On Wednesday evening, the man was reportedly seen leaping or falling into the sea about 30 miles off the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte in northeastern Brazil.
The travel agency that arranged the cruise, Grupo Mundomex, identified the passenger as Jorge Alberto Lopez Amores and said that four witnesses reported that he had leaped from the MSC Divina – from a height equivalent to 15 stories – of his own will.
The Divina was leaving the coastal city of Fortaleza on Wednesday and on its way to Recife for a Mexico / Croatia Group A World Cup game when Amores was seen falling into the South Atlantic ocean. The Brazilian navy has been called in to search for the missing man. The Davina made a full stop and the crew searched for the man until the navy arrived and took over search operations.
“Immediately after we were notified by the cruise, we sent a rescue ship to the area, but so far we have not found the passenger,” a spokeswoman for the regional navy said. “He fell in high seas, deep waters.”
Amores was reportedly heavily intoxicated, and either fell or jumped off the 15th deck, falling 50 meters to the water below.
“It's really sad. We were watching Spain playing Chile and were looking forward to arrive in Recife and celebrate,” fellow passenger Felipe de los Cobos said. “Then the alarm bell rang three times announcing a man had fallen overboard.”
“[Brazilian] rescue teams using fast boats are searching for our countryman in the area where he presumably fell,” Brazil’s consulate said.