Professor Ross Klein’s CruiseJunkie website reports a passenger is missing from the Solstice cruise ship, operated by Celebrity Cruises.  Another passenger notified the CruiseJunkie website Missing Cruise Passengerthat a passenger may have jumped from the cruise ship on November 6th:

I’m a passenger on Celebrity Solstice between Santorini and Naples. At 9PM local time tonight, a female passenger jumped purposefully from Deck 14. She has been identified by the crew but the name not released. The coast guard are conducting a search but she has not been found as yet.

No other information is available from newspapers or on line media sources at this time.

Assuming this information is accurate, this is the 125th passenger who has gone overboard from a cruise ship or ferry since 2000, based on Dr. Klein’s data.

November 8, 2009 – 9:30 a.m. Update:

The passenger remains missing.  Professor Ross Klein’s website CruiseJunkie received the following message from another passenger aboard the Solstice:

Solstice searched in the darkness with spotlights for 10 hours assisted by at least one more cruise ship as well as at least one coast guard boat and an aircraft. Flares were deployed too, but to no avail.  She ws not found.  We continued on to Naples and will arrive about an hour late.

We have reported on other passenger overboards in prior articles.  Although the Celebrity Solstice does not have a webcam for public viewing, technology exists for passenger overboards to trigger an alarm to the bridge to alert the cruise ship’s officers that a passenger has gone overboard.  This system would capture the video and permit immediate notification of the emergency. Tracking devices would drop into the water so that the exact location of the passenger overboard could be determined. 

Whether Celebrity Cruises utilizes this technology is not known. 

November 8, 2009 – 9:30 a.m. Update:

Celebrity Cruises issued the following PR statement:

On November 6, at approximately 9 pm local/Greece time, three hours after departing Santorini, Greece, a guest onboard Celebrity Solstice reported seeing a person jump overboard from one of the ship’s uppermost decks. The ship’s Captain immediately turned the ship around, marked the position on the ship’s Global Positioning System (GPS), notified other ships in the area, and alerted Greek authorities, as well as the FBI. The Greek Coast Guard immediately assisted with air and sea searches. Shipboard closed-circuit camera footage captured the guest going overboard and has  been made available to authorities.

Public announcements were made onboard immediately following the report, and a complete search of the ship was completed in efforts to identify the individual who went overboard. The identity of the missing guest was confirmed, and the family was notified. Celebrity’s Guest Care Team is providing support to the family, and Celebrity Cruises is cooperating fully with government officials.

The Greek Navy and Coast Guard assisted Celebrity Solstice with air and sea searches until 3:45 am Greece time, when the authorities released Celebrity Solstice from the search. Most unfortunately, the missing guest has not yet been found. The Navy and Coast Guard are continuing the air and sea search.

Celebrity Solstice is on a 10-night Eastern Mediterranean itinerary that departed Civitavecchia, Italy, October 30, and returns to Civitavecchia November 9.



Overboard drawing               CruelKev2’s blog regarding overboard cruise passengers