The passenger who fell overboard the world’s largest cruise ship this week has been identified as a 19-year-old college student from Washington state – who was on vacation with friends at the time, his family announced.
Sigmund Ropich, known to his loved ones as “Boiboi,” was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, according to his sister Savannah, when it crashed into the waters off the coast of Cuba on Tuesday.
“He’s a son, a big brother and a little brother, a cousin, an uncle, a nephew, a friend, a mate, a classmate, a co-worker, a neighbor!!!” the distraught sibling wrote on Facebook.
“I just want my brother to be home.”
Savannah said Sigmund was enjoying a trip with friends when he fell off the 230,000-ton ship around 9 p.m. on day two of a seven-day trip from Port Canaveral, Fla.
Known as a “shy” kid who is “always cool, calm and composed,” she said, making the tragedy even more unimaginable for her family.
There has been no sign of him in the three days since he disappeared into the dark waves, and officials are reportedly giving up hope.
“The Cuban officials told us they were done searching the sea. They persist only on the coast and on land. “I have a strong feeling that they will end this search,” Savannah insiders said.
“We’re very confident when they open [the] Search back in the ocean… We need them to open it again.”
The Ropich family was largely kept in the dark about Sigmund’s disappearance, the siblings said.
Royal Caribbean has declined to tell them how long the ship’s crew searched for the teenager, although an industry blog reported that rescuers spent about three hours scanning the waves with searchlights, small boats and observers after the ship turned around and its retraced route.
“The search team must keep searching for our Boiboi!!!!” Savannah wrote. “We need answers, we need updates!!”
“We’re so far from him. Please let them know so we can bring him home!! Please sir!!!!!! Please, he hasn’t even lived a life, Lord.”
Royal Caribbean previously said it was working with the US Coast Guard, but the military confirmed to The Post that search and rescue duties are Cuba’s responsibility.
The USCG will investigate the incident once the giant ship returns to US waters, a spokesman said.
The Wonder of the Seas is 1,188 feet long and has 18 decks. She can accommodate almost 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members. Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is expected to break Wonder’s record when it enters service next year.
Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.