A very unfortunate incident has occurred onboard Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady, resulting in a passenger passing away on the first night of the ship’s current sailing.
The incident happened late in the evening of April 2, 2023, and the ship immediately returned to PortMiami to debark the deceased passenger. This has also forced a dramatic itinerary alteration for the vessel.
Passenger Falls Over Balcony Railing
According to CBS News, at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Sunday evening, a female passenger fell from her Deck 14 stateroom balcony aboard Valiant Lady onto one of the ship’s lower decks. Her injuries were severe, and while emergency medical care was administered as quickly as possible, it was not successful.
“This passenger went over their balcony to a lower deck, and despite receiving immediate medical attention, has passed away,” read a statement from Virgin Voyages.
Further details of the incident, including the guests name and age as well as what may have led to her fall have not been released in order to safeguard the woman’s privacy as well as for her family members and friends.
The circumstances of the fall are also under investigation, as is customary procedure in such incidents.
Guests onboard the ship have reported that emergency personnel quickly erected tents and caution tape around the deck area where the fall happened, to further safeguard the guests’ privacy at a very difficult and challenging time.
Valiant Lady Returns to Miami
Immediately after the incident, Valiant Lady – which had just departed PortMiami less than four hours earlier – reversed course and headed back to port. This allowed the deceased passenger to be carefully debarked and the scene to be visited by authorities immediately.
At the time of the fall, the ship was roughly 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Key Largo, roughly 44 miles (71 km) from PortMiami.
The ship remained back in Miami for several hours, but has once more departed and is now en route to Cozumel. The original itinerary was for the ship to sail the 6-night cruise with visits to Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Bimini, The Bahamas, as well as two days at sea before returning to Miami on Saturday, April 8.
Now, the ship will reportedly visit Cozumel, Mexico and the visits to Roatan and Costa Maya have been dropped. It is likely that the last port of call, Bimini in The Bahamas, will be able to proceed as scheduled, as the lost time with the diversion back to Miami can easily be made up through the days at sea.
Valiant Lady is the second of Virgin’ Voyages cruise ships, and only debuted with the line in February 2022. Unfortunately, this is not the first sad incident aboard the vessel, as a guest went intentionally overboard in late March 2022 off the coast of Portugal.
The 110,000-gross-ton ship can welcome 2,700 guests per sailing, and is currently homeported from Miami offering Caribbean sailings. On April 22, Valiant Lady will reposition to Barcelona with a 15-night one-way transatlantic cruise, and will remain homeported in Spain sailing Mediterranean voyages through October.
Cruise Hive’s condolences are with the woman’s family and friends, as well as other guests aboard Valiant Lady and the cruise ship’s emergency teams and other crew members at this very difficult and distressing time.