Could He Still Be Alive?

( – Nearly a week after his son made the unexpected decision to leap off an 18-story Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the father of the 20-year-old firmly believes his son survived the jumping in the waters off the Bahamas.

Francel Parker told news outlets he had faith that his son, Levion Parker, survived thanks to Levion’s well-honed diving skills.

“As soon as he went off the side, I prayed over him. I was confident the prayers I said over my son were heard. I stand on the word of God. I believe he is alive,” said Francel.

The U.S. Coast Guard led the search efforts for the man for days until they were ultimately called off.

According to witness accounts, Levion jumped off the ship at around 4 a.m. in front of his father and younger brother during a tense moment of disagreement with his father.

However, Francel, who helms an AC company in Port Charlotte, refuted claims that he fought Levion and asserted his son did not intend to harm himself.

While praising Levion’s skills as a diver employed on a commercial fishing vessel, Francel questioned how his underage son was served alcohol during their cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas’ Grand Inagua Island.

Francel clarified, “We don’t drink. I’d like to know how my son was served so much alcohol.”

Passenger Bryan Sims recounted Levion’s jump and noted that Francel seemed to be scolding his son for being drunk before the incident.

“When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all,” Sims said.

Deborah Morrison, another guest, said that after Levion jumped off, “There was a lot of yelling, and the crew was alerted immediately.”

Francel recounted how he tried to aid his son by throwing six life rings into the sea before the ship managed to halt approximately 20 minutes later.

Research by retired professor and cruise industry analyst Ross Klein revealed that between 2000 and 2024, at least 406 individuals have fallen or jumped overboard from major cruise ships and ferries.

Klein’s findings reveal that survival rates among these individuals vary, with the most successful cruise lines managing to rescue only around 40% of those overboard.

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