Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein and the Cruise Critic message boards are reporting that on Sunday, March 24th a passenger was reported overboard from the Coral Princess cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises.
There is a vague reference to a passenger-possibly-going-over-the-rails on the Cruise Critic site, but as is the case with most overboard cruise ship cases there are no clear facts and lots of speculation.
There should never be a debate about what happens when a passenger or crew member goes overboard. All cruise ships should have state-of-the-art surveillance cameras to document what happens when a person goes overboard. The ships should also have motion detection systems which signal the bridge immediately when someone leaves the cruise ship on the high seas - whether it be intentionally or accidentally or criminally.
All of the Cruise Critic members jumped immediately to the conclusion that the case involves a suicide. They just as quickly offered their on-line-prayers and condolences.
But there is no statement by Princess Cruises about what happened, assuming you were naive enough to believe the cruise line PR. There's no report of the results of an official investigation, but that's not unusual because Princess Cruises is incorporated in and registers it cruise ships in Bermuda, to avoid U.S. taxes and safety regulations, which is indifferent to what happens on Bermuda flagged cruise ships. And there is no report of an investigation by law enforcement officers in the next port of call.
Was this an accident, a suicide, or a crime? I don't know.
It's a real shame that there are no news accounts, no official investigation and only lots of speculation by cruise fans who blame the dead passenger, say a hollow prayer and then forget about it.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia