Passenger Goes Overboard From NCL's Norwegian Sun in Falmouth Jamaica

Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein reports that a NCL passenger went overboard from Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun shortly after the cruise ship pulled out of the Falmouth shipping pier in Jamaica late Wednesday. 

Professor Klein has the most complete list of passenger overboards over the course of the last ten years.

Professor Klein's website refers to an article in the Jamaica Observer which reports that the Trelawny police responded to an incident late on Wednesday involving a passenger who died after going overboard from the top deck of the cruise ship Norwegian Sun.

The newspaper quotes the head of the Falmouth Police Division, Superintendent Andrew Lewis, stating that he was informed that the cruise passenger was taken from the water by crew members of the vessel, which had turned around after an alarm was raised that the passenger had jumped.

Famouth Jamaica Passenger OverboardThe police reported that the incident occurred 25 minutes after the vessel left the Falmouth cruise shipping pier about 6:00 pm.

The article is confusing, claiming that the passenger allegedly "jumped" while  Superintendent Lewis referred to "the man falling in the water."

Yesterday, the Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett issued a bizarre statement, expressing regret over the incident but said he stating that "the circumstances has nothing to do the destination."

NCL, which is based here in Miami, has not issued a statement about the incident.  The only reports I have seen about the passenger overboard are from Professor Klein who is in Canada, and the newspaper in Jamaica.  

The Miami-based cruise lines do a remarkable job keeping these type of incidents under the radar.

Like many overboards, it is less than clear whether the passenger jumped or fell, and if so whether alcohol was involved.

If you were on the cruise or have information, photographs or video regarding the incident, please leave a comment below. 

November 4, 2011 Update:Norwegian Sun Passenger Overboard

Tonight NCL issued the following statement:

"At approximately 7 pm ET on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, a guest traveling on Norwegian Sun was observed jumping overboard from a public area on Deck 12.  The ship immediately turned around, launched rescue boats and conducted a search.  At approximately 8 pm ET, the guest was located in the water, returned to the vessel and pronounced deceased by the ship’s doctor.

All appropriate authorities have been notified.  Out of respect for the family, the company will not be releasing any further details.  Norwegian Cruise Line extends its deepest sympathies to the guest’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Norwegian Sun departed Port Canaveral, Florida on October 29, 2011.  The ship is sailing a Western Caribbean itinerary and had visited Falmouth, Jamaica on Wednesday."

November 7, 2011 Update:

Several passengers have left comments below.  One passenger, Kate, sent us a photograph of one the rescue boats.  (The exposure of the photo was adjusted substantially because it was very dark).

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Comments (25) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Tracy - November 5, 2011 10:56 AM

I was on ship having dinner when i heard man over board. I walked out to deck to hear a lady yelling for Jenny in the water. I was very surprised they didnt have more spot lights shinning. I could not see in the water it was to dark at that time i believe there was one boat on each side of the boat searching. I felt there should be more.. I then heard them call for resue and they all starting running to other side of ship only to return because they went the wrong way. i then saw two boats pull to front of boat where a body was brought on.

katie - November 5, 2011 12:03 PM

i was at dinner when this happend i heard the man over boared announcement and alot of people were all on deck 6 looking for the body......no huge spotlights and like one boat on each side searching....not enough if u ask me....finally located the body and brought it back on the boat....the lady was told to be very depressed and distraught, there were lots of witnesses and her family on the deck and watched it happen...they said she def jumped it was no accident... either way it put a huge damper on my trip!

Tony - November 5, 2011 1:05 PM

We were on the Sun. While we didn't actually witness anything, some friends were on a balcony below and witnessed her going into the water.

Please note that this is second-hand information gathered from these friends and also conversations with crew and the Port Officer from Great Stirrup Cay, with whom I had a conversation on the tender to the island.

About 30 minutes after we left Falmouth, as the sun was going down, people heard some shouting that sounded like "My son, my son" or My god, my god". This was followed by a woman falling from the Observation deck (12), hitting the side of the ship and landing face-first in the water. My friends tried to keep an eye on the body (they were sure that she died as soon as she hit the water), but lost track in the failing light.

One of my friends was the first to yell "Man overboard" and they called 911 from their stateroom phone. A boat was launched and we watched while they searched the water. An announcement was made that someone had gone overboard and they were searching for them. About an hour later, another friend saw the stretcher as the body was recovered.

I was told that police were flown to Great Stirrup Cay from Nassau and five witnesses were due to be interviewed about the incident.

As stated, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the above, but I hope this gives a fuller picture of the incident.

rodney - November 5, 2011 7:03 PM

i was on the ship.it was a bad week,first a brief stop for the coast guard to pick a sick person off the ship in the key west area,took probably 30 mins or so,bad ship rocking during the week,then the lady that fell overboard,we saw a couple of the life persevers float by,also took along time to get the rescue boats in the water,and very poor lighting look like rescue was using a flashlight shining on the water,where was the local help,no coast guard,customs,local fire/rescue,i guess the spotlights on the ship were'nt working they was'nt on our side of the ship,bad trip on the sun

Christy Duncan - November 6, 2011 4:28 PM

I understand being upset about a trip being ruined. However, how about the mother of the woman who lost her life. She was a wonderful young woman who did not save her money to enjoy a vacation and jump overboard. This was a terrible accident. She was not traveling with family, but friends. It is a shame when something so sad happens people assume that they know story. God Bless the family and those that have to endure this horrible incident.

Gordon - November 7, 2011 1:40 AM

I understand that the NCL Sun had a crew member taken off the ship the second day of the cruise who possibly died, then a woman jumped from the 12 floor port, forward of the ship, landed in the water and died. Someone told me she was around 40 years and had broken bones hitting portions of the ship prior to landing in the ocean. The rescue boat had an extremely dull light while trying to find the woman and the ship had no spot lights. It was amazing to me that they found the body in extreme dark conditions. NCL needs to install spotlights on the ship. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. This tragedy had an impact on my 27 year old son.

katie - November 7, 2011 7:07 AM

we do not have to assume a story....there were plenty of people who came forward when this happend that were sitting right there and said the lady took a running jump.....far from a accident! lets not sugar coat it by saying this was some terrible accident and people dont know the facts...yes it was a VERY sad incident and yes my heart does go out to her family and friends......but "terrible accident it was not" they acually have video of the jump on board that im sure they released to the family.....so please lets stick to facts here, and whether alcohol or depression or whatever played a role or did not play a role....this was no accident! nobody pushed her off and she was not just too close to the edge.

linda tramell - November 7, 2011 11:40 AM

this statement is for everyone that is posting, please have your facts right before you put anything on here remember family and friends are reading this and its heart breaking enough with seeing negative comments that have not been confirmed. unless you witness this and know for sure what happen please do not speculate.

Kate - November 7, 2011 1:25 PM

My husband and I were napping when the "CODE OSCAR, PORT SIDE" came over the intercom. Then we saw them lower a life boat past our window with 4 crew members in it. As we watched the port side from our cabin on the 5th deck we saw this boat searching the water with a "tiny" spotlight. There was an announcement of a "man overboard" made later by the captain, and then another about an hour later that told there had been a "successful rescue". Hmmmmm
In addition on the first day we were stopped at Key West for a "medical emergency". We were told a helicopter from the Coast Guard was coming to pick up the person. Later on we were told by other passengers that a stroke victim had died. (heresay, but just saying.)
I have a picture of the rescue crew out there in their boat searching for the overboard.

Jim Walker - November 7, 2011 3:09 PM

Katie:

We all need to be careful not to assume things, like saying that video was released to the family. You're "sure" the video was released? That's just your assumption, of course, and one that I suspect is incorrect.

So far, no one with first hand knowledge (eye witness) has posted any explanation regardng what happened.

CCTV may provide some clues but it remains to be seen whether the cruise line wil cooperate with the family . . .

Jim Walker

Liz - November 7, 2011 3:44 PM

We were also on the ship with our twin girl's in the back penthouse suite when this happened. I think it's sad that poeple on this cruise are making this become their memories. It was all very sad and I will never forget it but I will remember the great time that NCL gave our family as they always do and believe they did everything they could. Ever think they were trying to protect us from seeing such a horriable event. As for my daughter's that are 9 I would have been very upset had they scene anything and am glad they didn't.

maggie - November 7, 2011 8:07 PM

I too was in a Penthouse suite with my mother and friend. Rumors after rumors went through the ship like fire.I saw the life rings being tossed and I heard loud voices and announcements by the captain that a man overboard emergency recue was indeed taking place. It was dark and there were no spot lights but we saw the rescue boats as the ship turned..it was very dark and hard to see, but I think the emergency procedure was in place to protect the victim, family, friends and other passengers on the boat, Gossip was rampent, but I experienced a wonderful cruise with NCL. I don't think we as passengers have to know all the gory details. I am sad for the victim, families and the tragedy was handled discretely and respectfully.

Sheryl Baker - November 7, 2011 9:09 PM

My husband and I were on the this cruise sitting in the main dining room, when the Captain spoke over the intercom and announced "the successful recovery", many, including myself, starting to applaud. Then my husband (a firefighter) said to me, "He said recovery, not rescue. This means a body- not the rescue of a person". I was shocked and felt the Captain had deliberately mislead us.
Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones.

Shannon - November 7, 2011 9:19 PM

My husband and I were having a drink at the bar by the pool on the 12th deck when we heard the announcement of man overboard... It was very surreal. We went up to the top deck to look and see if we could see anything but it was so dark you couldnt see a thing. I heard from several passengers that when they called for the stretcher team on the intercom that they went running to the wrong side of the ship, laughed, turned around, and went the right way. Well I don't know about you guys, but that's kind of scary! Although I'm sure she was already dead at that point, wasting time by running the wrong way is pretty bad! Time matters in situations like this. Yes, it did but a damper on things, how could it not to know someone just died and you're supposed to go on drinking and eating and living it up? I was so upset because first I heard it was a teenager, then the 40 year old. Still upsetting of course but thinking it was a kid made me absolutely nauseated! I heard it was a suicide, an accident, and even possibly a murder. So many stories from so many people but I'd like to know what REALLY happened.... Why is this not on national news anyway? Am I the only person that thinks that is odd??? I am shocked at how well the crew covered it up too, everyone we asked about it said "Oh, everything is fine!"

Tammy - November 8, 2011 8:28 AM

What surprised me the most about the incident was the lack of assistance from shore. I saw two rescue boats, I believe both NCLs and after recovery one small fishing boat... no port authority, no coast guard, no nothing and the jamaica's observer's article on the issue only indicates... 'we weren't the cause' well you weren't any help in my opinion either.

Jim Walker - November 8, 2011 8:36 AM

Really good point Tammy.

Mary - November 8, 2011 11:02 AM

First I want to say how terrible this tragedy was and I think NCL and the crew handled it as best as they could. The search took less than an hour and there was a recovery. There were two ships standing by to help if needed. But it was not needed.

I was in my stateroom when the "CODE OSCAR, PORT SIDE" came over the intercom. There was an announcement of a "man overboard" made about 10 minutes later by the captain, and then another about an hour later while I was in the dining room that told there had been a "successful recovery.

There was also the man who had a stroke the first day out and had to be taken to Key West by the Coast Guard. I know if that was my loved one I would want them to do whatever steps necessary to care of them and that is what the Captain did.

These are not NCL's fault. In spite of all of this and this being my very first cruise ever, I had a wonderful time. No one could have predicted this would happen. Certainly not NCL. They did the best they could and kept it discreet so the other passengers could continue to have a wonderful cruise.

I know if I cruise again it will be on the Norwegian Sun. I thought they did a great job in spite of what people are saying.

Frank - November 8, 2011 3:07 PM

I'm reading all of this and just amazed at folks opinions. This is indeed a sad incident and regardless of where it takes place, someone taking their life is a failure of humanity to recognize someone that distraught. Still what I am reading is that everyone is surprised that there were not lots of spot lights everywhere so everyone could see what was going on. Reminds me of an accident on a freeway when everyone has to slow down to take a look and see if there is any blood and gore on the road. Come on people, of course they are going to have flood lights everywhere, this is a tragic event and not open to the Hollywood spectacular. The cruise line does what they can to protect families and people, the spotlights are for your "entertainment" so you can see what is happening, the crew didn't need it, they were able to find the body. Remember this, about the time they got the word that someone was overboard, it takes time to turn a big ship around, and lower boats to go searching. What did you think, it was just going to be instantaneous? Secondly, makes you appreciate America more as we are one of the few that have a Coast Guard that helps in such emergencies - most countries do not - it's not that Jamaica is bad, they just don't have the funds to have a service like this.

Lastly, how often do you think people go overboard? Not very often, it's actually rare, and very few actually commit suicide off a cruise ship so folks, I think you need to realize this is a sad event and leave it at that. Condemning the cruise line when you don't understand their rationale is ill put - they don't make it a spectacular on purpose. Just wanted to add my input.

Larry - November 8, 2011 8:54 PM

As a family member, I can tell you a little about my cousin Jenny. She was a very happy person who loved life, and had saved her money and looked forward to this cruise for some time. Depression and thoughts of suicide were not in her nature, had that been the case our family would have taken steps and sought her the help she may have needed. So the thought of this happy person jumping is a little hard to fathom. You may say sometimes we don't know people, but I believe in this case you would be wrong, and I would say to you, that you don't know her the way, we her family knew her! For those of you with kind words and prayers thank you. For those who only have negativity please keep it to yourself, this is difficult enough without tarnishing our happy thoughts of a family member that is loved and will be dearly missed.

Karen - November 9, 2011 10:02 PM

we were on the 6 deck we were watching the sun set my sister in law just said let go get dinner it is 6pm I look down and yelled woman in the water we could tell you what she was wearing she was face down and arms out my brother started running to follow her and my sister in law and my boyfriend started to opening doors and yell the second door they found a crew member and with in 8 min the ship stop and started to turn. just before that we did not hear any thing, there was a lot of crew people there I know with in 8 min. there was boat out in the water looking, they keep on saying are u sure u seen a body we said yes and could tell them what she was wearing. They keep on looking, around 645pm I asked one of the crew to take me to the chappel to pray.. the 4 of us went up to pray. I know that I prayed they find her so her family would have some closer.. at appox. 7pm we went back down on 6 deck to see if they had found her and they did not, at 715 I heard they had recoved the woman. We don't know why this happen but I am glad that her family can buried her at home, my prayer goes out to her family, the next day I had a crew member come up to me to ask how we were doing I told them it is hard to close my eye without seeing her, he told me that her friend was with her there is more but I dont think it needs to be said at this time, my prayers goes out to the family of the woman,

Nicole - November 9, 2011 10:21 PM

We were on the Sun when this happened. It's certainly a tragedy...plain and simple. I did not witness the incident though. I remember the ship pulling away from Falmouth and everyone out on the balconies and decks waving and smiling. It was such a happy time. Then the announcement of the "man overboard". It was at sunset and became dark almost immediately as we pulled out of port. The Captain and the crew seemed to react very quickly. It definitely left a somber note for the remainder of the vacation. We walked past the guarded rooms that the woman occupied daily to take and pick up our son from child care. It breaks my heart to know that someone may have been in pain (I say may because I really don't know the circumstances) and it breaks my heart that the family has to endure this loss. I can only imagine getting that phone call.

Donna - November 10, 2011 11:50 PM

It was very sad, and was a 20 year old girl. I heard a lady telling the crew she saw it and the girl had an arguement with her mother. Dont know if that part is true or not. But we Pray for the family, and give the crew a hand for finding her in the dark waters. Was very sad seeing her body broguth back. Again Praying for the family.

Frank Walter - November 11, 2011 7:36 AM

First, and most important, my wife and I extend our sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of the lady who died in this incident. Depression is a horrible disease and can effect the best of people May God's grace fill the hearts of her loved ones and comfort them for years to come.

Second, to NCL you acted in a most professional manner handling this horific incident. I am sure procedures were followed and if there were lapses in the crew handling of the rescue your internal investigation will determine how to improve your rescue procedures.

The Sun is no dfferent than a large high rise hotel. If someone falls or jumps off a balcony they do not use that incident to entertain the rest of their guests.

We had a balcony cabin on the starboard side of the Sun on deck 9. Yes, that night was saddened by this event but the crew carried on in their professional handling of the situation. I didn't have to know any details of the incident. GOOD JOB NCL.

I was surprised that there was no response from shore and the only other ship that came to the scene was another NCL ship that we saw ported that day in Oco Rio.

Beth - November 11, 2011 11:14 PM

I was within 5 feet of the woman that went overboard. My husband and I were there on the 12th floor observation deck. I was conversing with the party she was with, ... wonderful and caring women. It is upsetting to see how rumors can start and how cold people can be. It really doesn't matter at this point how it happened. She was a 40 y.o. woman, Jennifer, who lost her life. I was told, she and her friend had been hired for a job. She had been taking photos on the deck of her friends. All was fine to best of my knowledge, except she had wanted an item from her room. Her friends told her they would go in just a few minutes with her to get it. We were all enjoying the moment of leaving port, waving to people on the dock, looking out at the ship that had just passed and talking amongst ourselves. I turned my head for just a split moment and she was overboard. Whether she jumped or fell really doesn't matter but with the circumstances on the deck, personally, I feel it was an accident by means of her own actions. No one pushed her,the railing was too high. There wasn't a shuffle of people when it happened. There wasn't a fight. We all screamed while trying to find a life ring. I ran into the bar to get help. I told them "woman overboard". They responded appropriately by calling the captain and a search boat was launched while the ship turned around. Life rings were thrown out from decks below. The search lights worked. The boats had suffient light to find her. It would have been hard to survive falling from that height by anyone. I stayed in the bar with one of their family members. We all gave our statements. When I went to the restuarant on deck 11, there were people sitting at the bar behind the pool, drinking and joking about what had happened. That was cold and uncalled for. It is sad someone died. Respect should be given to the loss of a life. My prayers go out to her mother, family, and friends. I pray the friends she was with don't blame themselves. It wasn't their fault. No one knows what was going on in her mind at the time it happened but I do know it couldn't have been prevented. Any of us would have helped her if we could have.

Pat - November 12, 2011 4:21 PM

I knew the young lady in question. She saved for a long while to take the cruise. She was not with her family but a friend and 2 chaperones.
She was excited as all are going on a vacation. I spoke with her the day she had her hair hilighted to go. She was not a depressed person but gentle, soft spoken and kind. We don't know what happened out there, and may never know. But for the years I have known her and her family she has never spoken of taking her life. The assumptions being made are heart breaking and not fact. The investigation is ongoing and as of this time not conclusive.
We loved our girl all of us and are having trouble fathoming our world without her.
Discuss the incident, post the facts but please do not state second hand comments and make assumptions.
We, her family members are waiting for the results and for answers.
Any one who witnessed this please come forward post your information or contact the authourities Thank you

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