An inquest has heard how an Australian man courageously leapt from a cruise ship to try to save his girlfriend who had slipped into the ocean moments earlier.
The coroner’s inquest in Sydney, Australia heard about Paul Rossington, a paramedic, who jumped 65-feet into the waters of the south Pacific from the balcony of his cabin aboard the Carnival Spirit cruise ship in 2013. The 30-year-old died along with his girlfriend Kristen Schroder after the ship sailed on to harbour without noticing the “tragic accident”.
Police have said that Rossington committed ‘an act of supreme courage’ after trying to save his girlfriend who had slipped and fallen into the ocean shortly before.
Police told the inquest how the paramedic acted on instinct by jumping after her. The two bodies were never recovered.
The Daily Telegraph reports:
Ms Schroder, 26, climbed over the balcony shortly before 9pm and lost her footing on a rail, clinging on with her hands about four seconds before plunging to her death, the inquest heard.
Video footage showed that Mr Rossington immediately jumped in after her.
“He must have known that jumping out would most likely end with him losing his life,” detective sergeant Michael O’Keefe told the inquest.
“When [Paul] has seen her slip, he’s jumped out of bed and when she’s fallen, he’s gone straight over after her. That act of conspicuous courage should not go unnoticed.”
The inquest heard the couple had a “turbulent relationship” and had been arguing at a casino and at dinner shortly before Ms Schroder’s death. They regarded the 11-day cruise as a “make or break” trip, the inquest was told.
Erika Mulligan, an advocate assisting the coroner, said the deaths of the couple appeared to be a “tragic accident”.
“He has not thought about his safety at all – that is certainly an act of bravery,” she said.
Police said Mr Rossington should receive the country’s highest bravery award.
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