U.S. Woman Disappears From Grand Princess Cruise Ship

Multiple news sources are reporting that a woman is missing from the Grand Princess cruise ship.

The U.S. cruise passenger was last seen around noon. News accounts state that the crew of the Princess Cruises ship reported her missing to the U.S. Coast Guard around 1:00 PM.

The Coast Guard deployed a Hercules aircraft to search for the woman about 750 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

The Associated Press reports that Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson says that the Grand Princess Overboard Passengerpassenger intentionally went overboard.

The Coast Guard states that the woman is 30, while Princess Cruises says she is 54.

In 2010, Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act which requires cruise ships to implement automatic man overboard systems to capture images of persons going overboard or to send notification to the bridge that someone has gone overboard.

The purpose of the law is to require cruise lines to institute immediate rescue action whether the passenger went overboard accidentally, intentionally or through foul play. Unfortunately virtually no cruise lines have implemented such technology even though automatic alert systems are available. 

The failire of cruise lines like Princess to comply with the cruise safety law results in passengers and crew members disappearing without a trace and reduces the chances of successfully searching for the person overboard. The absence of alert systems also results in the U.S. Coast Guard being called late to conduct search of large areas which is very expensive and is ultimately paid for by U.S. taxpayers. 

Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein has documented over 200 passengers and crew members have gone overboard since 2000.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia (Ivan T.)

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Comments (9) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jacquline Ford - November 13, 2013 11:29 PM

How does the cruise line know that she intentionally went overboard?

Jim Walker - November 14, 2013 8:56 AM

One newspaper says that the conclusion was based on witness and CCTV accounts.

John Goldsmith - November 14, 2013 9:52 AM

Jim,
Are cruise ship cameras monitored 24/7 like they are elsewhere?

Phil Compton - November 14, 2013 10:23 AM

From one who has actualy worked on a Cruise Ship. You have no idea what goes on. Of course they probably know it was intentional by looking at the CCTV.

Jim Walker - November 14, 2013 9:17 PM

Phil: Of course security went back and looked at the CCTV long after the woman went overboard. That's all the cruise lines do. They don't monitor the CCTV cameras. But the law requires state-of-the-art technology requiring automatic detection systems and cameras alerting the bridge in real time. It's a shame that cruise employees like you don't know that.

Bob Mac - November 15, 2013 2:40 AM

Jim

Have you any information on the automatic detection kit you keep referring to? Manufacter etc. Also has it been type approved and if so by which Authority? How does it work? Movement detection? If so there is always a lot of movement along a ships side at sea. If the kit is prone to spurious alarms it would be worse than nothing as over time the watch keepers would just ignore it.

Andrew - November 15, 2013 3:16 AM

The woman was drunk few moment before jumping, she was crying and complaining that her boyfriend left her alone. The crew around thought to call the security because she was very confused. The boyfriend the day before went to the pursers desk to close her cruise card because she was spending a lot of money especially for drinking.

Has been a bad moment, but sometimes we cannot expect this can happens!

We just left the search and came back towards Honolulu.

Austhinker - November 16, 2013 11:07 PM

Obviously the penalties for not complying with the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act are not sufficient.

If the captain of the ship and the directors of the cruise line faced manslaughter charges every time someone disappeared from a non-compliant ship, the compliance rate would rapidly approach 100%.

The cruise line should also be liable for search costs, and should be required to have a suitable rescue boat/vehicle ready to go at all times. Considering the size of some of these ships, they should probably be required to have several rescue boats ready, guaranteeing a mandatory maximum response time to the overboard person.

Particularly where jurisdictional issues could prevent prosecutions, non-compliant vessels could be prohibited from operating in US waters, or the waters of any other country with similar legislation, and the promotion and sale of cruises on these vessels could also be prohibited within these countries. Whilst there would be loopholes, such as internet sales, the financial impact on these vessels should be enough to ensure rapid compliance.

Heather - November 17, 2013 9:57 AM

very sad situation,however the guest on the ship most likely have saved for years for a dream vacation that was ruined by a drunk mental selfish lady.

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