This is the first picture of a London businessman who drowned after falling overboard from the world’s biggest cruise ship during a Caribbean voyage.

Holidaymaker Jonathan Pfahl, aged in his 30s, plunged from the Symphony of the Seas as the giant vessel sailed from Saint Kitts to Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

A rescue boat was launched to save Mr Pfahl, who founded Rockstar Group, the UK’s largest entrepreneur and mentoring firm, and his body was recovered in front of horrified passengers on the Royal Caribbean ship.

The dad-of-two, a former Goldman Sachs worker originally from Sydney, Australia, was reportedly on a family holiday to celebrate his wife Lisa’s birthday when he died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.



Jonathan Pfahl was on holiday with his wife Lisa and kids, it is reported

Pr Pfahl’s body will remain on board the ship until it arrives in Miami on Saturday, it was reported.

A friend close to Mr Pfahl said the businessman was holidaying with his wife and two young children.

The friend told News.com.au: “It was his wife’s birthday family holiday.

“All we know is he went overboard early [in the morning] and the body has not been released off the ship in Miami yet. Hopefully [it will be released] Saturday.”



Jonathan Pfahl died after falling overboard in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Mr Pfahl’s heartbroken friends and colleagues have paid tribute to him on social media following his death in international waters.

Gateway2Enterprise manager Karen Gould wrote in a Facebook post: “I awoke this morning to hear some devastating news that my great friend and mentor Jonathan Pfahl died whilst on a holiday with his family.

“He fell overboard on a cruise ship.

“This talented young man was a great rockstar of entrepreneurs and a true friend I will miss you.”



The Symphony of the Seas turned back after the businessman fell (stock photo)

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AmeriCamp co-founder Lee McAteer wrote: “JP was a true Rockstar and helped so many people get their businesses going.

“I can’t believe I’m writing this.

“Life is short. Leave your mark. JP you certainly did.

“RIP my friend and thinking of your family at this time. You will be truly missed.”



Mr Pfahl ran the UK’s largest entrepreneur and mentoring firm

Warren Cass, chief executive of Influence the Book, added: “Such sad news today about Jon. He was outrageous, charismatic, talented and had a huge heart.”

Mr Pfahl set up the Rockstar Group in London in 2007 and was its managing director. The company’s headquarters are in The Shard.

He was once pictured at an event with Sir Bob Geldof.

According to a profile on Rockstar’s website, he was inspired to become a career mentor after working for the financial firm Goldman Sachs.



Mr Pfahl’s body was recovered by a team who launched a rescue boat

He had studied economics at the University of Sydney and moved to London in 2005.

A profile on Virgin’s website said Mr Pfahl set up Rockstar to help small businesses and start-ups, helping to create more than 6,500 companies in the UK.

The firm offers investment, legal advice, production, marketing and office space, and has expanded to China, Australia and the US.

It also offers a national mentoring programme for the UK Government’s Innovate scheme, the profile says.

Mr Pfahl was reported to have fallen overboard between 3am and 5am on Wednesday.



Symphony of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world (stock photo)

Graphic footage posted online shows the rescue boat dropping into the sea from the Symphony of the Seas.

It shows the businessman’s body being pulled out of the water and being taken back to the vessel, which was carrying thousands of holidaymakers.

After the man was reported overboard, the cruise ship turned and launched a rescue boat to look for him.

Passenger Nickella Battle, who works for a Florida TV station, said crew announced the incident over the intercom.

The passenger told 7 News: “I was on the balcony of my stateroom at around 3.30pm. The captain was on the intercom.

“He was like, ‘Oh, a man fell overboard and unfortunately he was deceased’.



Mr Pfahl had been living in London for almost 15 years

“This happened at around 4am.

“I looked out from my balcony and everybody was taken aback. You could see everyone standing in their tracks.”

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said in a statement to media: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred on the Symphony of the Seas en route to Saint Thomas.

“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones for their loss, and our care team is providing support and assistance during this difficult time.

“Upon the initial report that an Australian adult male had gone overboard, our ship immediately turned, launched a rescue boat, and conducted a full-scale search.

“We are working closely with authorities and will continue to assist in their investigation.”

The tragic incident happened during a seven-day cruise.

The Symphony of the Seas resumed its voyage and is due to arrive in Miami, Florida, on Saturday.

Built in France, it is the world’s largest cruise ship by gross tonnage and has a capacity for 6,680 passengers and 2,200 crew.

Last year, 23 people went overboard on cruise ships and only four bodies were found, the Miami Herald reported.