Mom who fell from Royal Caribbean cruise ship confirmed


The Indian mother thought to have jumped off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship during a voyage from Malaysia to Singapore was confirmed dead by her family Tuesday — on what would have been her birthday.

Reeta Sahani, 64, was declared missing Monday after her husband, Jakesh Sahani, 70, woke up in the middle of the night and noticed she was not in their cabin in the Spectrum of the Seas, the Straits Times first reported.

The family has been shown surveillance footage that confirmed the fate of the mom who cannot swim, her son, Apoorv Sahani, 39, tweeted Tuesday.

“With the footage we have unfortunately learned that my mother has passed away,” wrote the grieving son, who is a businessman based in Melbourne, Australia.

He did not detail exactly what the footage showed, but earlier tweeted that “cruise staff are saying she jumped.”

Reeta Sahani, 64, and her husband, Jakesh Sahani, 70.
Reeta Sahani, 64, and her husband, Jakesh Sahani, 70.
Jakesh Sahani/Facebook

“Ironically, today is also her birthday,” added Sahani, who was not on the tragic cruise. “Would request you guys to give us some privacy as we mourn her loss.”

The giant vessel’s overboard detection system revealed that something had gone overboard and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre was notified about 7:50 a.m. Monday that a passenger “had fallen overboard in the Singapore Strait,” according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

“MRCC Singapore is coordinating the search and immediately issued navigational safety broadcast to vessels in the Singapore Strait and vessels in port to keep a lookout for the missing person and report any sightings to MRCC Singapore,” the MPA said in a statement.

 Royal Caribbean cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas
Reeta Sahani died after she fell from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas, her son Apoorv Sahani said.
Getty Images

The Spectrum of the Seas, a 1,139-foot-long behemoth that can carry up to about 4,900 passengers, was returning from a four-day round-trip cruise to Malaysia, according to CruiseMapper.

“Cruise staff are saying she jumped,” Apoorv tweeted on Monday, as he complained that the company was not sharing the footage and “are washing their hands off.”

He told the Straits Times that his mother could not swim and disputed suspicions that she had jumped overboard.

 Royal Caribbean cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas
The ship was on a voyage from Malaysia to Singapore at the time of the tragedy.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Eventually my father was told to get down from the ship because there was another cruise that was going to take place, but we think she may still be on the ship, stuck somewhere,” Apoorv told the outlet before receiving the grim update.

“She was on a holiday enjoying herself and then this whole thing happened. It doesn’t make sense,” he added.

On Tuesday, he thanked people “for showing your overwhelming support in this time of distress for my family,” adding that he will be “forever grateful.”

Reeta Sahani, 64, and her husband, Jakesh Sahani, 70.
Reeta would have celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, a day after her fall.
Jakesh Sahani/Facebook

Earlier, he reached out to the Indian prime minister’s office and the Ministry of External Affairs seeking assistance in locating his mom.

“The ship and crew immediately reported the incident to local authorities and launched a search and rescue operation. The shipboard team is working with local authorities, and our Care team is now offering assistance and support to the family,” Royal Caribbean told The Post in an email before Apoorv announced the death.

“Out of privacy for the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share,” the company added. “Spectrum of the Seas sailed as scheduled Monday evening.”  

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the son’s sad announcement.

In June, a 42-year-old woman was rescued after she fell off the 10th-floor deck of Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas about 25 miles south of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic during a trip from Florida.

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