Video released of 21-year-old Army veteran dying after falling off party cruise

A video recording has shed some light on an incident that led to a US Army veteran drowned after falling off of a cruise ship in the Boston Harbor.

21-year-old Aaron DiBella was attempting to do a vertical pushup from the side of a party cruise ship Saturday night when he fell into the cold waters of the Boston Harbor, eventually drowning and sinking to the bottom.

DiBella was warned not to climb up on the ship’s bulwark but instead chose to exhibit more reckless behavior.

The Bay State Cruise Company, which owns the Provincetown II cruise ship (informally known as “Boston’s biggest party boat”) that hosted the tropical luau party DiBella was attending, said he had been “engaging in horseplay” before he fell.

“Although the passenger initially appropriately responded to the warning of the crew member and climbed back down onto the deck, when the crew member turned to go back into the interior of the vessel, the passenger started in on the even more dramatic form of dangerous play,” Bay State Cruises said in a statement. “We had him located and illuminated with the ship’s spotlight, the several life rings were within just a few feet of him and a crew member was additionally in the water also within 5 feet of him to assist.”

“He thought it would be funny to sit up on the side and pretend as if he was going to hang off the side of the boat. When he did that, he slipped and fell over,” said Matthew Almon, 21, a close freind of DiBella, told the Boston Globe.  

DiBella, however, reportedly tired out and drowned, likely accelerated due to exposure to cold. His body was eventually located by divers, around 45 feet below the surface and 100 yards from his last reported location.

“When the water starts to get a little bit colder, your time of survival goes down significantly,” Lt. J.G. Lucy Daghir told NECN.

Witnesses report DiBella was in the water for about 5-10 minutes before he stopped swimming.

State Police are currently investigating the incident.

YouTube video

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