In the last two weeks, there have been two overboard passengers from U.S.-based cruise ships - Costa's Serena and Holland America Line's Rotterdam.
These incidents have been reported - not by the cruise lines or the press - but by Canadian Professor and cruise expert Ross Klein who hosts the informative web site Cruise Junkie. Dr. Klein has been tracking passenger and crew overboards for the past decade.
Like Dr. Klein, we are increasingly being contacted by passengers, crew and other concerned individuals when things go wrong on cruise ships. Here is some updated information we received from our readers:
Passenger Overboard From Costa Serena
In response to our article "Person Overboard from Costa Serena Cruise Ship?," one passenger confirmed that a 34 year old French passenger went missing at midnight on February 26th.
"The ship had to turn around the following day. But the ship and coast guard did not find the man. On that following night the ship was given the go ahead to return to original course. but at that time it was too late to visit the port of Cadiz."
Another passenger informed us:
"Yesterday we returned from the Costa Serena. The Captain had reported to all of us passengers that the missing man was a Frenchman of the surname Pascal, reported missing by his father who was also traveling on the Costa Serena. At the time he went missing the ship was traveling from Tenerife to Cadiz (our itinerary was changed from going to Madeira because of their disaster). Once Mr. Pascal was reported missing, the ship had turned round and for several hours searched in the area where he may have fallen overboard. Then we were told the search and rescue authorities were taking over and as it was too late for us to visit Cadiz, we were taken straight to our following destination, i.e. Malaga. We hope that you will be able to find more regarding the fate of the missing man and let us know."
Passenger Overboard From HAL's Rotterdam
"I was surprised that this report was not confirmed, and was hoping to help. I was aboard the aircraft referenced that arrived "onstation" to assist in the S.A.R. Operation, a United States Navy P-3C of Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP)- 26.
We arrived on station after the victim had been in water for about an hour and a half, the delay largely attributed to communication delays, and the relay of the initiated SAR from ship, to shore, to our controller. WE initiated a search pattern that proved unsuccessful. At which point we adjusted our search to the estimated current drift. After several hours we searched our absolute min allowable "off-station" fuel load (required for the transit back to base) and at the last moment we located the SAR victim. Since we were bingo fuel all we could do was give a gps point and get back home. During SAR operations we prefer to maintain "eyes-on" to guide the pick-up vessel in.
I speak for my crew in saying we are grateful to know that at least he was picked up even though we could not affect a rescue. We offer our condolences to the family and relatives, and I hope you know that we did all that we could."
Thanks To Our Readers
Thank you to our readers who have expressed their concern for these passengers and their families and have taken the time to provide information regarding these sad cases.
A special thank you to our brave U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Airmen who put their lives on the line to search for and recover our loved ones at sea.
Costa Serena CruiseAir's photostream
HAL's Rotterdam Cajun Bob's photostream