2016-08-31 / Front Page

Fatal Jump From Queens Cruise Ship

By Liz Goff
A 56-year-old Pennsylvania man died of a heart attack on August 21; shortly after he jumped overboard during a booze fueled cruise in Flushing Bay.

Cops said Vernon Witsell was partying on the Skyline Princess, a cruise ship that sails from the World’s Fair Marina in Flushing, at about 2 a.m. on August 21 when he jumped into Flushing Bay near Rikers Island and College Point.

NYPD Harbor Patrol police arrived at the scene moments after the ship’s crew pulled Witsell from the waters, police said. Witsell was combative and refused to cooperate with crewmembers that pulled him back onboard, a police source said.

He was taken to Flushing Hospital Center where he died a short while later. The city Medical Examiner’s office was scheduled to perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Witsell did not indicate why he jumped from the cruise ship, a police source said.

Officials at Skyline Princess Cruises did not immediately return calls for comment.

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