5 Overboards in 18 Days: Crew Member Missing From Grand Princess Cruise Ship

A local CBS news station in San Francisco is reporting that a 34 year-old crew member is missing from the Grand Princess cruise ship approximately 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii.

According to the internet news report, Princess Cruises says that the man reportedly jumped overboard last night or early this morning. 

The cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corporation and operated by Princess Cruises, left San Francisco last weekend on a 15-day round-trip cruise to Hilo.

The Coast Guard in Hawaii received a call from the cruise ship around 12:20 AM. The CBS station Grand Princess quoted a Coast Guard representative saying:

“The report indicated that crew member had been missing for approximately two hours and this occurred approximately 1,000 miles northeast of Oahu, Hawaii." 

A spokeswoman for Princess later told KCBS that surveillance footage shows the crew member intentionally jumping overboard.

The Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 aircraft to fly to the area. 

The Grand Princess, together with another Princess cruise ship, the Star Princess, is searching for the man. 

CBS says that the thousands of passengers on board were confined to their cabins for a head count.

This latest overboard means that five person have gone overboard since December 10, 2013. That's 5 people in 18 days.

Passengers went overboard from the Rhapsody of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Independence of the Seas, all operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises in just eleven days. Yesterday, we posted an article about a passenger going overboard from Holland America Line's Veendam.

The fact that there was a two hour delay between the crew member going overboard and notification to the Coast Guard suggests that this Princess cruise ship did not have an automatic man overboard system as required by the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act.

In November, a woman went overboard from the Princess Grand Princess. That cruise ship also apparently did not have a man overboard system.  Princess Cruises characterized that disappearance as a suicide too. 

 

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ivan T.

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Comments (25) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
clipperbug - January 7, 2014 11:00 PM

My girlfriend works on this boat and is always telling me how they treat their staff horribly. From the stories I have heard from her I am not surprised about this incident at all.

Boyana - January 8, 2014 9:00 AM

Cruise companies should begin to treat the crew as human beings!!!!

asphalto - January 8, 2014 12:22 PM

when we come to work on the ship,we know why we work for, and we sign a contract.the cruise company doesn't call at home for to come to work with them.its a personnal choice!!!
now for the crew member who jumped overboard, it wasn't about his job but about family problems!!this and that +the pressure of the work= this!!
we are working on the ship with 1000 crews members and we can be very lonely sometime if we don't talk.ship company got all services for crew member,now is it our choice to take them or not!!!i love my job on the ship, i love ma family and my friends.i work on the star princess…...

Priscila - January 8, 2014 1:11 PM

Asphalto said everything!! Usually thw problem is woth their family! Princess treats us very well!! And Carnival Company provides us a Hot Line we can contact if we don't feel confortable to solve our problems on board...

PERSONAL CHOICE!!

Teresa - January 8, 2014 2:11 PM

I've been woking for Princess Cruises since 5 years ago and I love my job.
When you sign your contract there's a lot of things you're signing for... and when you do it you agree with all of these things! So, that's what you are working for.

It isnt heaven for a lot of the crew members cuz we have to work a lot!! but we choose to do it! You dont like it?? quit!!! that's it!!

There's a lot of other situations that make people do this kind of things to themselfs, like being apart from your loveones, family problems, not a good mental health (and with this I mean depression, or some other problems.. Im not saying it in a bad way) and if you add to that the preassure that you have at work (cuz you work a lot!!!) well... ended up in this awful things.. but do not blame the work at ships cuz IT'S NOT THE REASON!! and IS NOT TRUE that the crew members are treated like crap on ships!!! there are some of the managers that are ASSHOLES!! That's a fact!! but there are a lot, and I must say they're the mayority, that are good people, good managers and treat they're people like they deserve!!! If you are a lazy worker of course they going to be "assholes" to you!! that's it! and that's not only at sea.. that happens everywhere!!!! For me, and I know a lot of crew members will agree with me, Princess Cruises is a wonderful company that gives me the opportunity to get the money to feed my family, to travel around the world, to meet wonderful people from all over the world and do what I love to do!!

mike - January 8, 2014 3:11 PM

Something must have prompted the person to jump overboard, it never use to happen when I was still onboard,errispective of the treatment,everyone has a choice to make,rather than taking own life,...very sad indeed.Surely investigations are important in this cases(s)

Iain - January 8, 2014 3:27 PM

What is noteworthy is that whilst an automatic man overboard alert system is required by the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security act, this is due to the fact that there is no system that is commercially available as these systems are in their infancy.

As such, no system has been developed that is fit for purpose. This is the reason that the above act is not being enforced, and that once a system that is fit for purpose is available it will be installed by all reputable cruise companies.

It should also be noted that various operating lines at Carnival Corporation are very active in the development and testing of such systems and that once they have a system that is fit for purpose the company, I am sure will install it in as quickly a manner as is feasible.

clipperbug - January 8, 2014 6:22 PM

Priscila,

Oh I have heard how the company deals with internal affairs of their employees. They interrogate you and try to sweep the issue under the rug when the violating party is let free due to the seniority factor. Just because you have worked a long time for a company doesn't mean you are not doing some shady back room deals.

From what I have heard about how the management system works and how they treat their subordinates, specifically on the Grand Princess, I am not surprised there are not more incidents like this more often. Which makes me wonder how many internal affair issues that never see the light of day from the interrogation room.

Jim Walker - January 8, 2014 6:36 PM

Iain:

We have enjoyed this debate on Twitter.

The technology is available and has been installed on NCL cruise ships.

The cruise lines have dragged their feet for decades and were compelled by law to install these systems because they refused to do it voluntarily. The law was passed and the cruise lines have had 4 years to comply. They refuse to comply with the law.

Carnival has been busy terminating retirement benefits, reducing salaries, and stealing crew tips over this period of time and will not invest the money to install the required systems.

The "more time" plea is just a delay tactic.

Jim Walker

Michael Macaraeg - January 9, 2014 12:18 AM

It is Normal in CruiseShip to have this kind of situation I work for Holland America line for 10 years like last two years I was on MS Rotterdam we came from Peru sailing through waters of Honduras and one of our guest Jump over board at the back of the ship one lady saw it and she reportedly to one of the crew after half an hour and the captain announced it ASAP and search it for several hours the ships schedule had been delay just for searching and reportedly to US Coast guard and they retrieved the body after 6 hours and didn't terport to media at all time

Ian Moores - January 9, 2014 6:31 AM

Jim. I am glad you enjoyed the Twitter debate. I agree with Iain and disagree with you. The technology is just not there to cover from the Promenade deck up to the highest decks - often 11 decks high. The ships are now 300m long with 250m of accommodation. The CCTVs used in the current MOB alarm systems simply cannot differentiate from a bird to a person. A far more complex system is required. Otherwise the OOW on the bridge will be monitoring far too many false alarms. Carnival Corporation Companies, including Princess, are at the forefront of trialling systems and will do so until a robust system is found. I am afraid people will go overboard from ships whatever CCTV systems are in place and those that sadly wish to do so intentionally and take there own life will circumvent any system in place. When Flag States have found a good system then legislation will dictate to all companies what is required to be installed. Until then only the US "insist" on something and then only to the extent of the technology currently available, which I am afraid, is very little and the USCG know this, hence do not prosecute companies under the Act as the Companies would most likely show the technology is too limited and would walk free from prosecution. Let the technology improve.

Arthur Javier - January 9, 2014 7:17 AM

I've been working for princess cruises for 6 years.. I do love my job and I am very happy.. It's all your choice if you want to stay or not.. If you don't like your job, the treatment or policies you are free to go...

Aliesha - January 9, 2014 8:16 AM

There IS a man overboard procedure on ALL princess cruises ships. This is taught to all crew members on day one of your life onboard.
They are extremely strict with safety. I had many friends who decided it was not for them thy resigned and are helped with organization of return flights. Princess does not pay for this but will help you arrange and get you home quickly.

When something like this happens it is a tragedy but unless you have hands on experience of what actually goes on at sea I dont think you can point fingers.

I did it for 3 years at a low ranking and loved it.

Tyrone - January 9, 2014 11:48 AM

For the life of me I don't know why they always blame the ships for people jumping over board,I have been on many ship where crew jump over board and most of the time it's was because of family problem at home.etc.. wifey want a divorce,husband cheating,wifey cheating,wifey take all the money and gone with another man.I could go on and on.It's true that work pressure can sometimes trigger depression but not to that level,so people get with it!! damn it.

Garth - January 9, 2014 10:17 PM

Don't forget obey issues….crew gambling is a problem for some….lose all your money and it becomes a problem for family. For many crew, depending on their country of origin, it is not really a choose as characterized here. The choice is really work and take care of your family or not….many crew will confide they "suffer in silence"….for family. I've been on various ships awhile, where we've lost 5 crew over a couple of years. And I agree, sadly the cheating, infidelity either onboard or at home…or both. But ultimately, its all about personal character and personal choices. YOU choose your life…no one else!

Garth - January 9, 2014 10:19 PM

Don't forget obey issues….crew gambling is a problem for some….lose all your money and it becomes a problem for family. For many crew, depending on their country of origin, it is not really a choose as characterized here. The choice is really work and take care of your family or not….many crew will confide they "suffer in silence"….for family. I've been on various ships awhile, where we've lost 5 crew over a couple of years. And I agree, sadly the cheating, infidelity either onboard or at home…or both. But ultimately, its all about personal character and personal choices. YOU choose your life…no one else!

Andrew Hunt - January 12, 2014 11:41 AM

I was on the prior cruise to Hawaii for Christmas and New Years. This was my wife and my 7th cruise. But to me, this was an unhappy ship. The employees were not happy, and many passengers were also not happy. The workers had a palpable fear of their bosses. They were afraid to allow anyone to make a decision without consult from their supervisor. I mean, things like, I want a different table. The host would feel the need to ask their supervisor.

To me, this is not a surprise. I feel it is the industry's dirty little secret. The wage scale and treatment of replaceable employees. This will be my family's last cruise.

ethel cardew - January 13, 2014 6:20 PM

Its all to easy to demonize the cruise line. Is it the lnes fault when crew members end their life while onboard in a cabin? NO But its all to easy to demonize teh Cruise lines. I had a family member hospitalized for a serious medical condition. I only told my room mate about it and that I was going to stay onboard as I could not get my family on the phone. He told my boss and without my knowledge they had arranged a flight home and time off if I wanted it....I appreciated the gesture but in the end I was not needed to go home. I was given 2 days off to gather and compose myself and grieve when my grandmother passed while I was at sea. again treated well.

I fear you will find that people that take this final sad solution are finding it easier to take this final step without having to burden their families the horror and shock of finding them at home. I am saddened every time I hear of one these incidents with crew. There are far too many of us there that would do anything to help our friends and family onboard so much so that nothing could'nt be solved with talking and getting help. There are plenty of avenues for crew members to see help and counselling.

Please don't demonise the ships and companies as being heartless when it comes to their crew they are not. its just easy to make a sensationalized statement

Paul Cairns - January 17, 2014 4:42 AM

Hi there,
i am actually a deck officer and i refuse to believe you "assumption" about the man overboard alarm. Try counting thousands of people accurately, it is not too easy when all the people want to do is move around and as previously mentioned there is no hard and fast system for detecting this.
The other point is that you need to be 100% sure before issuing any man overboard statement to coast guards/ships in the vicinity as if it is false you are creating a colossal waste of time and in some cases can be fined for something as simple as someone being drunk and sleeping it off somewhere. This can delay the notification time considerably. However global security should be notified within the hour.

Rachel Ridgeway - January 20, 2014 12:48 AM

I was a passenger on the Grand Princess when this young man went overboard. None of the passengers were confined to their cabins for a head count, so that statement in the article is untrue. The poor man that went overboard was a junior waiter. He was very homesick, and missed his young wife and daughter terribly. Rumour has it that he thought he could swim home. It is very sad and tragic situation. The passengers were awakened in the early hours of the morning and notified by the captain what had happened. The captain kept us up to date on all the search and rescue details. It is a requirement that a search be conducted for a minimum of 30 hours, which it was, until it was called off by the US Coast Guard. A memorial service was conducted by the captain and many of the passengers attended, and also made donations which will be given to his family.

Jack Mazur - January 20, 2014 2:33 PM

I was on the sister ship Star Princess on Jan. 8 when the man went overboard. We spent many hours in a futile search commanded by the coast guard. Because of this our cruise was greatly shortened so that we were not able to visit our favor island, Maui. Instead we went of Kona, our most unfavorite island. I am truly sad for the lose of the man overboard and our crew did and exceptional and professional job, however I am expecting a compensation for our loses, which were not our fault.

Mary Riddles - January 20, 2014 6:06 PM

I agree with Rachel. It was 0200. There was no confinement or head count. I thought it was handled very appropriately and professionally. I found the crew to be extremely helpful and friendly, but it was a shock to all of us. We must remember they were in mourning for him and still continued to provide excellent service. Not only did the ships look for the man, but the passengers did also. During day light you could see 50 to 100 people with binoculars searching for him. I personally took it as a life experience and was not bothered by an interruption of my entertainment which can be done at a later time.

rick white - January 21, 2014 6:10 PM

I also was on the Grand Princess to Hawaii when the crew man jumped over board.
I believe that Captain Lawes did a superb job under difficult circumstances. Remember, this is the same ship and Captain, and most of the crew who also lost a passenger overboard in almost the same location a month before. Maybe we as paying guest should have some compassion for all the crew and all the poor people on Princess Star and Horizon, who sacrificed their vacation time to help us search for our lost crew man. Remember this is a 930' long ship with 15 decks. How can you stop someone who decides to jump? The MOB CCTV idea is good, but needs improvement. I for one feel sorry for the Captain and Crew, but most of all the man's family. For Christ's sake pull away from the mirror and think of someone else for once.

Free85 - February 4, 2014 9:55 AM

What horrible news!!i m very very sorry and feel bad thinking about at man jumped overboard.

But HOW CAN BE POSSIBLE? this freaky old crap ship have not yet installed a automatic system security MAN Overboard? Unbeliveble i spend 6 years of my life working with Princess, and now when im out i can see nothing is changed.Doesn matter if the man were happy or not, security on the vessel MUST BE allowed to EVERYONE.

PS NOT ALCHOOL

piki - May 31, 2014 10:45 AM

I was on the Grand Princess 2times..2contracts..and on the ship they have "Man overboard" system,so I think there it was something else,not the system...this is my oppinion....

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