1-year-old girl dies in Puerto Rico: Falls from docked cruise ship

A young American girl, around 18 months old, was accidentally dropped overboard by her grandfather from the 11th deck of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas cruise ship while docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after returning from a a week-long trip through the Caribbean.

The girl was pronounced dead soon after the accident yesterday, Sunday, July 7, 2019, after falling 150 feet and landing on the concrete dock below. The girl’s maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello of Valparaiso, Indiana, is under investigation. The rest of the family is from Granger, Indiana.

The grandfather was holding the girl by on open window when she slipped through his arms. The family of the girl’s parents – her father, Alan Wiegand, a Indiana Police Officer – along with her younger brother, and paternal and maternal grandparents were to take a holiday together aboard the cruise ship.

The Freedom of the Seas was set to embark on another 7-day Caribbean cruise. It was delayed after the accident, leaving at a later time of 8:30 pm heading for Saint Martin. The family has remained in Puerto Rico while the investigation is ongoing.

Witnesses who saw the fall are being interviewed by officials who will also examine CCTV footage. The homicide department of Puerto Rico’s San Juan Police Department are conducting an investigation, but it is not believed that they have yet interviewed the family.

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