“It was shocking that a joyous occasion could so quickly turn tragic”: Lamb of God give statement after man falls overboard on festival cruise

The Headbangers Boat cruise took place between 31 October and 4 November.

Lamb of God have issued a statement after a man fell overboard at their inaugural Headbangers Boat cruise festival on 3 November.

The festival took place between 31 October and 4 November. During the trip, Lamb of God played to festival goers alongside the likes of Mastodon, Hatebreed, Gwar, and Testament. The Norwegian Pearl ship sailed from Miami to The Bahamas and back.

But on the penultimate day of the festival, a 41-year-old man fell overboard. It prompted a search and rescue mission that lasted nine hours, before the cruise’s captain called it off. As of 9 November, the man hasn’t been found, and the ship returned to Miami.

A statement released by a spokesperson from the Norwegian Cruise Line to Rock Feed, via Cruise Hive – and also issued by the band before being deleted – read, “On the early morning of Friday, November 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.”

Lamb of God later put out a second statement on Instagram, thanking fans for joining them on the cruise and paying tribute to the metal community after the “tragic” incident on board.

“It was shocking that a joyous occasion could so quickly turn tragic,” the statement reads. “While we don’t know all of the specifics, we know every single person on that boat is part of our family, and we witnessed everyone onboard experience grief at the loss of one of our own. We couldn’t have been more proud of how the metal community onboard rallied together to support each other and celebrate heavy metal in the only way we know how.”

Frank Godla, the CEO of MetalSucks and Metal Injection, attended the festival, and provided an eyewitness account to MetalSucks. He explained that he woke up in the early hours to choppy waters, before the captain made everyone onboard aware that somebody had fallen into the water, and that a search and rescue mission was to take place.

Godla also emphasised that the incident “does not reflect on Headbangers Boat, or Norwegian cruises in any way.”

He added, “In fact, after metal cruising for over a decade, Headbangers Boat has easily been my favourite experience yet. It’s a shame for this to happen to such a well-behaved and gracious group of people celebrating the maiden voyage of what will be extreme metal’s best festival on the seas.”

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