Multiple news sources are reporting that a woman is missing from the Grand Princess cruise ship.
The U.S. cruise passenger was last seen around noon. News accounts state that the crew of the Princess Cruises ship reported her missing to the U.S. Coast Guard around 1:00 PM.
The Coast Guard deployed a Hercules aircraft to search for the woman about 750 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
The Associated Press reports that Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson says that the passenger intentionally went overboard.
The Coast Guard states that the woman is 30, while Princess Cruises says she is 54.
In 2010, Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act which requires cruise ships to implement automatic man overboard systems to capture images of persons going overboard or to send notification to the bridge that someone has gone overboard.
The purpose of the law is to require cruise lines to institute immediate rescue action whether the passenger went overboard accidentally, intentionally or through foul play. Unfortunately virtually no cruise lines have implemented such technology even though automatic alert systems are available.
The failire of cruise lines like Princess to comply with the cruise safety law results in passengers and crew members disappearing without a trace and reduces the chances of successfully searching for the person overboard. The absence of alert systems also results in the U.S. Coast Guard being called late to conduct search of large areas which is very expensive and is ultimately paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein has documented over 200 passengers and crew members have gone overboard since 2000.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia (Ivan T.)