Man Dies After Climbing Cruise Ship's Mast at PortMiami

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A 20-year-old man died this morning in an apparent accident after he climbed the mast of the Carnival Ecstasy while it was docked at PortMiami.

The incident happened shortly after 7 a.m., and the as yet unidentified man visiting from North Carolina broke into a restricted area of the ship and climbed the mast. He somehow lost control and plummeted 20 feet to the deck.

The man was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.

"Earlier this morning as the Carnival Ecstasy was approaching PortMiami, a 20-year-old male guest entered a restricted area and climbed up onto the ship's forward mast. He subsequently fell and landed on the deck. He was initially treated by the ship's medical team and later transferred to a local trauma center in Miami. Unfortunately, he has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time," Carnival said in a statement released to NBCMiami.

The Miami-Dade Police homicide department is investigating but believes the death was an accident.

The Ecstasy, one of Carnival's oldest ships, makes three- and four-day trips to the Bahamas out of PortMiami.

It's not the first time the ship has seen tragedy.

In 2007, David Ritcheson committed suicide by jumping off the ship. Ritcheson, a teenager, had been the victim of a high-profile assault incident in Texas a year earlier. Ritcheson was brutally attacked by two of his high school football teammates.

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