The on line web information portal is reporting that a passenger may have gone overboard yesterday from the Rotterdam cruise ship.

The report is based on information received from a passenger on the Holland America Line cruise ship. 

Rotterdam Cruise Ship - Overboard - Missing is operated by Dr. Ross Klein, a cruise industry expert who has, among other pages, a large web page called "Events At Sea – All The Things That Can Go Wrong On A Cruise."  Dr. Klein reported yesterday:

I have been informed that a passenger jumped from the M/S Rotterdam today and was recovered deceased at about 5 pm local time. The ship will be in Costa Rica tomorrow.  This account has not be confirmed or reported by the media.

in addition to Dr, Klein’s site, a comment on the popular on line cruise community mentions the incident under the topic "Man Overboard on Rotterdam???"

 ". . . A "man overboard" was reported to the bridge, just before noon. What was done, then was to chart where the person went overboard and turn the ship around to that area. By 2:00 PM, an airplane came to circle around and look for anything in the water. By 4:00 PM, the plane had spotted something, and the ship headed there. By 5:00 PM, a tender was dropped into the ocean and found what was believed to be the person. Many of us were on deck 3, and as the tender returned to the ship, the Captain asked that all on deck 3 please, out of respect, to leave the deck. I don’t know anything else. We will find out soon if we’ll miss our port, tomorrow. I don’t know if we’ll get information about the person. There was an announcement, earlier, for someone in cabin x, to please call the front desk immediately. Tonight is formal night and I don’t think anyone wants to dress up."

We previously reported on a HAL handling of an overboard passenger in an article ""Suicide" – One of the Cruise Lines’ Favorite Excuses When a Passenger Disappears at Sea."  That case involved passenger Amber Malkuch.  HAL quickly called her disappearance a suicide.  This surprised not only Ms. Malkuch’s friends and family, but dumbfounded the Alaskan State Troopers who had yet to review photographs and video, conduct interviews or analyze toxicology reports. 

It will be interesting to see how HAL handles this situation.  By not issuing a press statement, it looks like HAL is trying to keep the incident secret.  

Dr. Klein reports that there have been over 130 cruise overboard in the last 10 years. How many more have not been reported by the cruise industry? 

February 27, 2010 Update:

CruiseJunkiereports: "Around 10 A.M. this morning, while breakfast was going on, one guest, supposedly of cabin 1905, jumped from the outside deck. The jump was apparently witnessed as there was an immediate man overboard call and the ship manouvered quickly and then anchored and a search happened. The ship staff searched for hours, and then about 5 pm, they recovered the man’s body. The ship has been under code red for 6 days for norovirus and the staff was already under huge stress." 

CruiseCritic reports that the overboard passenger was a member of the CruiseCritic on line community.




Rotterdam cruise ship                 jimg944 Flickr Photostream

  • United States Naval Aircrewman

    I was suprised 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 largly 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 unsuccesfull. At which point we adjusted our search to the estimated current drift. After several hours we reached 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 greatful 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.

  • Norma Soto

    I was a passanger on this cruise and would like to let all of you know that the captain of the rotterdam should be commended on his handeling of this incident. He kept us informed of all that was happening and in spite of the odds of less than 1% the body was recovered and we were only a couple of hours late reaching our next port. BRAVO CAPTIAN!!!!