American passenger Sarah Tessier Powell set sail on the Holland America Line Veendam cruise ship the last week of September.
Two weeks later, no one has any idea where she is.
CBC News in Nova Scotia Canada reports that Ms. Powell, age 70, from Louisiana, was last seen September 30th on the Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship Veendam, as it sailed from Quebec City to Charlottetown.
The HAL cruise ship’s next stops were scheduled in Charlottetown, Sydney, and Halifax on October 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively
Halifax police speculate that Ms. Powell "may have walked off the ship without being checked by the cruise ship security," as CBC reports. Let’s hope that’s the case. Assuming that’s true, the Canadian police admit that it’s not clear where Ms. Powell may have disembarked.
How on earth is that possible? Passenger gangways are supposed to be heavily monitored by security with each passenger’s sea pass card scanned and the gangways always covered by closed circuit television cameras.
Cruise ships can easily trace the passenger’s onboard purchases and use of their cabins by "lock-link" reports which document the opening of cabin doors. When did the passenger last use her card to either charge a purchase or open her cabin door? The shipboard security should easily be able to know when there was any documented activity by Ms. Powell on the ship.
And why do the police think she left the ship? If she did, then there should be CCTV film documenting her exit even if the gangway security guards were asleep at the wheel.
There are a number of news outlets covering the story. That’s good news. Passengers should not disappear during cruises, with loved ones wondering whether the passenger went overboard or is wandering around somewhere ashore.
It’s been ten days since anyone say this cruise line guest. Where is she?
This reflects poorly on HAL and the security systems on HAL’s Vandeem. Wasn’t the Vandeem the same HAL ship which just flunked the Centers for Disease Control inspection of the ship’s cleanliness?
It looks like the HAL Vandeem’s security procedures are no better than its failed sanitation system.