MIAMI (WSVN) - An Australian man is dead after he fell overboard from a cruise ship sailing to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas left St. Kitts and was heading towards St. Thomas on Thursday morning when a rescue boat was dispatched to a man overboard call.

A 7News employee happened to be on the ship at the time and spoke to us about how passengers were made aware of the incident.

“I was on the balcony of my stateroom at around 3:30 p.m. The Captain was on the intercom. He was like, ‘Oh, a man fell overboard, and unfortunately he was deceased.’ This happened at around 4 a.m.,” said passenger Nickella Battle. “I looked out from my balcony and everybody was taken aback. You could see everyone standing in their tracks.”

Royal Caribbean released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred on the Symphony of the Seas en route to St. Thomas this morning. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time. Upon the initial report that an Australian adult male had gone overboard, our ship immediately turned, launched a rescue boat, and conducted a full-scale search. We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation.”

The cruise ship is set to return to PortMiami on Saturday.

The man’s identity has not been released.

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