Freedom of the Seas Cruise Toddler Falls To Death Puerto Rico – On Sunday, July 7, 2019, about 4:30 p.m, South Bend Indiana Police officer Alan Wiegand and his wife Kimberly were departing San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship Freedom of the Seas (see video below), when their 1-and-a-half-year-old toddler daughter Chloe Rae Margaret, fell, plunging 150 feet to her death.
The grand-father, Salvatorre Anello was holding his grand-daughter up to what he thought was a closed window on the 11th deck of the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship as it was docked at Panamerican II dock on Sunday in San Juan.
Deck 11 is the pool deck with the Vitality At Sea Spa, whirlpools, main pool, sports pool, H2O Zone, Dive Shop as well as the Plaza Bar and restaurants Windjammers Cafe, Chop’s Grille and Giovannie’s Table.
The South Bend Police posted, “South Bend Police Department offers its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico.”
Chloe, who was on a family trip with both her maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as a brother and other relatives, fell the equivalent of 11 stories from a port-side window landing on the pavement at the dock, according to Elmer Roman of the Puerto Rican Department of Public Security.
Jose Carmona, spokesman for the local Port Authority said the girl was playing with her grandfather in a dining hall on the 11th deck. The dining area has large windows, and one pane was open. The grandfather sat the girl in the window and lost his balance, and the girl fell to her death, Jose Carmona stated. However, there is an alternative explanation for the toddler’s death, which is explained on our Cruise Ship Deaths obituary for Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand.
Puerto Rico Prosecutor Ivette Nieves was conducting interviews of the passengers who observed the sad scene, and to the relatives who were present and will be making arrangements to view the security cameras of the boat as evidence.
Police Sgt. Nelson Sotelo of the Puerto Rico Police Department said the grandfather is from Valparaiso in Porter County, Indiana and the rest of the family is from Granger in St. Joseph County, Indiana.
Salvatorre Anello received the following social media comment on his account, regarding the incident, “There is nothing the law can do to this man that is worse than what he’s going through. He’s in hell, and life will never be the same. We were not present; we don’t know the full accounting of what happened, but I’ll wager he loved her very much. Harsh words from strangers is a heartless cruelty. I pray for mercy in his pain, eventual peace in his heart and mind.”
Freedom of the Seas embarked from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday, July 7, 2019, for a seven-day Carribean cruise with calls at Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. John’s, Antiqua and Bridgetown, Barbados before returning to San Juan.
Owen Torres, Corporate Communications Manager for Royal Caribbean, told CBS News that the cruise operator was “deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family.” He added that the company had made its “Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need,” but would not be offering any further comment out of respect for their privacy.
There has been a Fundly donation page created for the family of Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand.
More information on this case is found on our Cruise Ship Deaths database.
- Freedom of the Seas Live Cruise Ship Tracker
- Cruise ship Deaths – Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand
- Puerto Rico Cruise Ship Weather
- Fundly – Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand
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Video: Toddler Fall from Cruise Ship