Girlfriend of Aussie who fell overboard from cruise ship breaks her silence with a heartbreaking message – and reveals her devastation as search is called off: ‘They should have kept looking’
- Warwick Tollemache, 35, fell off a cruise ship
- Search for the missing Brisbane man called off
- His girlfriend has now paid tribute to the man
The girlfriend of an Australian man who fell overboard off a cruise ship in the US says she’s devastated the search for him has been called off.
Warwick Tollemache, 35, from Brisbane was earlier identified as the man who fell from the Quantum of the Seas into the Pacific Ocean about 1400km south of the Hawaiian islands late on Tuesday night.
Now, Celina La Roche, who had been dating Mr Tollemache for six years, has paid tribute to her partner in a heartbreaking post.
She wrote: ‘I love you, always have and always will. RIP my love.’
Her comments came shortly after a massive air and sea search by the US Coast Guard was called off on Friday.
Brisbane man Warwick Tollemache (pictured left) has been named as the man who went overboard from a cruise ship. His girlfriend has paid tribute
He fell from the Quantum of the Seas into the Pacific Ocean about 1400km south of the Hawaiian islands late on Tuesday night
She also told the Courier Mail: ‘They should have kept looking – I don’t understand why they stopped the search.
‘I’m just devastated.
‘We were cruising in the South Pacific last month and I was going to move in with him.
‘I was still hoping until I heard they’d stopped the search and now… he could still be alive in the middle of nowhere.’
Ms La Roche added that Mr Tollemarche knows how to float in water, and that she wouldn’t have closure until he was found.
The US Coast Guard spent a day scouring the ocean for Mr Tollemache from the sea and the air before suspending the search.
Large overnight swells have hampered the frantic search, making the hunt ‘almost impossible’.
Celina wrote in a heartbreaking post: ‘I love you, always have and always will. RIP my love’
Warwick Tollemache (pictured) has been remembered by his family as a kind, beautiful and gentle soul who was adored by everyone
The decision came after talks with Mr Tollemache’s family and the Australian consulate.
They also shared a tribute to Mr Tollemache after the search was called off.
‘Our family is heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Warwick,’ they said in a statement.
‘He was a kind, beautiful, and gentle soul who was adored by everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed.’
‘We kindly ask for privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding.’
The sad news that the search had been called off sparked an outpouring of tributes.
‘I will miss you dearly my friend, my brother, my heart is aching so much knowing that I won’t get to see you again or give you a hug,’ one mate posted.
Quantum of the Seas crew launched a desperate search (pictured) after Warwick Tollemache went overboard before later continuing its voyage
A family friend added: ‘He left an indelible mark on all who knew him and he will live on in all of us. My heart is breaking… for you, for him, for all your beautiful family. He will be so very missed.’
Search and rescue mission coordinator Kevin Cooper said in a statement: ‘The coast guard has made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas.’
The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing assistance to Mr Tollemache’s family.
‘The Australian Consulate-General in Honolulu is working closely with local authorities,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We acknowledge the ongoing distress for the man’s family and loved ones.’
QUANTUM OF THE SEAS CRUISE SHIP TRAGEDY TIMELINE
April 12: The Quantum of the Seas cruise ship departs Brisbane bound for Honolulu, Hawaii with a stopover at Tahiti.
April 25, 11pm (local time): An Australian man falls overboard from the cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean, 1400km south of the Hawaii. The ship comes to an abrupt halt as a desperate late night search is launch
April 26, 1.30am (local time): The Quantum of the Seas continues on its voyage as the US Coast Guard launches an extensive air and sea search.
April 26 (local time): The US Coast Guard spends the day scouring the ocean. Massive swells overnight made the search ‘almost impossible’. An C-130 Hercules aircraft completed five searches over the course of six hours as a radio call-out was issued to all vessels in the Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii to keep a lookout for the missing man.
April 27 local time/April 28 AM AEST: The US Coast Guard suspends the search for the missing man overboard following discussions with the man’s family, the Australian consulate and other authorities.
The man is later identified as Brisbane man Warwick Tollemache, 35, in a heartbreaking statement from his family.