A twenty-one year old female passenger fell overboard, from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, approximately fifty miles east of Ft Lauderdale. Two eyewitnesses claimed they saw her go overboard and she was also caught on camera falling off the ship. As soon as the passenger went overboard, the captain turned the ship around and searched for her. Two other cruise ships in the area joined the search until the Coast Guard arrived. More often than one might think, passengers go overboard. The one question that immediately comes to mind is how does it happen? Unless one is attempting to jump overboard like Rose form the Titanic movie, it’s actually not that easy. One would think either a person was very inebriated, or committed suicide. There is very little chance of surviving a fall from a ship underway and she will in all likelihood, never be found. So besides the questions that must now be asked about how it happened, and searching for answers, cruise lines must determine how such incidences can be avoided. Even one death at sea is too many, so new safety procedures need to be put in place. Perhaps there should be crew members around the decks at all times to ensure the safety of the passengers. Or some type of netting could be placed in strategic locations around the ship. But something must be done so other tragedies can be avoided in the future.
Hi Curtis, I am a little bit puzzled about your posting. Normally, you talked a lot about knowing your surroundings or about personal responsibilities. Risk zero does not exist. There are some tragedies and they will happen again. If you try to make something idiot proof, we’ll always find a better idiot. The net idea is a good one, but one will fail due to corrosion or whatever reason and then there will be another inquiry about the industry again. I remember some tragedy here a while back, a kid got hit by a train while he was walking on a track wearing headphones. The parents wanted a law be passed and signs put up. Signs don’t really save live. Look at all the signs in your work area and people ignore them (but it does protect the employer who did his due diligence).
My point is, education is much better than laws at protecting people from idiocy. I would prefer a mandatory session of some sort before they leave port or when they board the ship than putting guards. Guards will be distracted and someone will fall and the poor guard earning minimum wage will bear the blunt of it…
Marc, I certainly believe personal reponsibility and knowing your surroundings are paramount to daily life. But as a sailor, I also understand things can happen beyond someone’s control. A misty evening or morning can cause someone to lose their balance and fall overboard. Of course these cases are the exception, not the rule. But if there is a possibility of falling over without any personal negligence, i.e. intoxication, more needs to be done to ensure the safety of the passengers.