Couple died after man jumped off cruise ship to save girlfriend overboard

Paul Rossington recommended for bravery award

Couple died after man jumped off cruise ship to save girlfriend overboard

A man who died when he jumped off a cruise ship into the ocean in a bid to save his girlfriend who fell over the railings has been recommended for a bravery award.

Paul Rossington, 30,and Kristen Schroder, 26, were on board the Carnival Spirit off the NSW coast in Australia when the tragedy happened in May 2013.

No one realised the couple was missing until the next morning when the ship arrived at Circular Quay.

An inquest is now being held into the couple's deaths.

The pair were on holiday with Ms Schroder's family, but were spending most of their time alone in what was said to be a "make or break" trip.

Couple died after man jumped off cruise ship to save girlfriend overboard

They were reportedly seen having a "terse conversation" in the casino, and other passengers said they were overheard arguing in the restaurant.

They returned to their cabin separately, and Ms Schroder went straight out to the balcony after Paul had gone to bed.

CCTV footage shows her falling over the side, and then another figure jumping in after her just moments after she slipped.

According to ABC News, Detective Sergeant Michael O'Keefe told the inquest: "I think [Kristin] has slipped and fallen as she's holding onto the rails.

"She holds that rail for approximately four seconds then hits the railing on the third deck and topples and somersaults into the water.

"When [Paul] has seen her slip he's jumped out of bed and when she's fallen he's gone straight over after her."

Sergeant O'Keefe said police recommended that Mr Rossington, a paramedic from New South Wales, receive the Cross of Valour for his actions.

He called his effort to save her "an act of supreme courage", adding: "He must have known that jumping out would most likely end with him losing his life."

According to the Australian Daily Telegraph, the navy, NSW police and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority launched a sea and air search, but their bodies were never found.

According to the paper, Mr Rossingtons's mother, Christine, told the inquest her son "died as he lived, an honourable man".

She added: "It breaks my heart that I will never see his beautiful smile or hear his quirky laugh again."

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