News4Jax reports that a passenger went overboard yesterday morning from the Carnival Elation approximately 15 miles southwest of Abaco, Bahamas.
The Carnival Elation sailed from Jacksonville on Monday with its first port of call in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Coast Guard is searching for the 24-year old man whose identity has not been revealed.
The news account states that at around 8:30 A.M. yesterday, the passenger's wife told the ship that her husband was missing and had apparently disappeared at an undisclosed time. She reportedly says that her husband was last seen about 2:30 a.m. She reported him missing after the ship docked in Nassau. Carnival later determined that its closed-circuit television (CCTV) system revealed that the man was recorded going overboard from the 11th deck.
This sounds like the usual scenario when a cruise ship is not equipped with an automatic man overboard system which would immediately alert the bridge when someone goes over a railing on the ship. Without such equipment, and without an eye witness account of someone going overboard, the ship is left to tediously look over hours of CCTV images to try and spot the passenger and see what happened.
The cruise industry has resisted installing the technology. There are many companies which have excellent heat and/or motion detection alarms with radar tracking systems on the market. Here is an example (photo left). Here is another.
According to cruise expert Professor Ross Klein, this is the 286th person to go overboard from a cruise ship since 2000.
Update: The Coast Guard was not notified until about 11 a.m. by the Carnival officers on the ship, or approximately two and one-half hours after the cruise ship docked in Nassau. The CCTV images which Carnival reviewed showed the passenger going overboard at approximately 2:45 a.m., according to new accounts.
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