UPDATE (Nov. 5): Per Metal Hammer, the search for the 41-year-old man who fell over during Lamb of God’s Headbangers Boat cruise this past Friday was “called off after nine hours,” with the Norwegian Pearl subsequently docking into the port of Miami.

Lambgoat clarifies: “Amidst the confusion, reports emerged from individuals on board the cruise liner, indicating that the ship's announcements assured the continuation of the planned trip. Nevertheless, it has now been confirmed that these assurances were never verified, and the ship ultimately returned to . . . Miami.”

Naturally, Lamb of God have since issued a corresponding statement [via Metal Hammer]: “We're deeply saddened to have learned that a member of our community was involved in a tragic incident. Sending love and light to their family and loved ones.”

Yesterday (Nov. 4), former ‘Headbangers Ball’ host – and cruise co-host – Riki Rachtman uploaded a Facebook Live video about the news. In it, he states [transcribed by Metal Hammer]: 

I'm just gonna start by talking about this because it's something that weighs heavy on our heart and all the bands and all the people that were on the cruise. Unfortunately, somebody went over. There was a man overboard. And I know what I've heard and I'm not gonna share anything until it already comes out. But somebody went off the ship at about four o'clock in the morning.

Everybody was devastated when we were woken up by the calls, and then they spent nine hours trying to find this person with the Coast Guard. And I get sentimental when I say this, but at about nine o'clock in the morning, they made the announcement that the search was called off. And when that happened, it was devastating and it hurt everybody when you walked around the ship.

This metal community, and I don't talk about this 'cause you know I love so many different genres of music, but the metal community, especially the people on this boat, is just that, it's a community, and we lost one of our own. My thoughts and prayers are for the families and friends and it was just so tragic.

You can watch the full clip below.

A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson has issued a statement confirming that a man attending the Headbangers Boat festival cruise headlined by Lamb of God went overboard this morning (Nov. 3). Search and rescue efforts were conducted and it has been verified by Loudwire that the festival activities have since resumed and the boat is headed back to Miami.

"On the early morning of Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, Norwegian Pearl was notified that a 41-year-old male guest went overboard while the ship was sailing near the Bahamas on its way to Miami. The authorities have been notified and the United States Coast Guard search and rescue operation is underway. The investigation is ongoing, and we will share updates as appropriate. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time," the Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told Rock Feed this afternoon.

The festival cruise, which also features Mastodon, Testament, Hatebreed, GWAR, Municipal Waste, Shadows Fall, God Forbid, Lacuna Coil and more, has continued with scheduled performances after the above statement was provided. The first artist to perform was Hatebreed, and it's reported that frontman Jamey Jasta tried to remain positive and create a sense of community and togetherness for festivalgoers onboard.

READ MORE: Lamb of God's Randy Blythe Buys Land to Fight Deforestation, Shares Mini-Doc

Fans onboard have lamented the tragedy, which can be seen below.

Our hearts are with all whom this has affected.

About Overboard Situations on Cruises

A 2017 report by Conde Nast Traveler details all of the aspects of an overboard situation on a cruise ship.

Passenger safety is an important part of the cruise business and owners and operators maintain certain regulations and procedures, including prevention, warning systems and emergency preparedness.

Heights of railing and balconies, alcohol consumption, surveillance cameras (monitored and unmonitored), sensors, a trained staff are just some of the related factors in maintaining passenger safety.

In the event a passenger goes overboard, an emergency protocol is followed with on-deck crews attending to the situation while aid may also come from the U.S. Coast Guard, nearby ships and other various authorities with means to assist.

While they are rare occurrences, overboard situations are reported to have an estimated 85 to 90 percent fatality rate. Complicating search and rescue efforts and the chance of survival are other contributing factors such as the body's response to the temperature of the water and the fall, potentially coming in contact with the ship's hull before landing in the water.

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Gallery Credit: Jordan Blum

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