This morning, the body of a crew member missing from the Holland America Line (HAL) Ryndam washed ashore in Pinellas County, Florida, a local news station in Clearwater reports.
The HAL crew member disappeared from the Ryndam near Egmont Key when the cruise ship was returning to port in Tampa on December 21, 2014. There is no public information which I have located explaining how the crew member went overboard.
The body was identified as Cliford B. Minej (a/k/a Menezes), a 27-year-old man from India.
Mr. Minej’s body was found by a person walking on the beach who saw it and alerted the police.
The death reportedly has been ruled accidental by the medical examiner’s office.
Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein records over 240 crew members and passengers going overboard since 2000.
December 27, 2014 Update: Zee newspaper in India states that " . . . the captain of the ship didn’t notify authorities of Minej’s disappearance until late in the morning of the incident, the Coast Guard didn’t know if he had gone overboard or disembarked at the cruise terminal."
The 2012 Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act requires cruise lines to install automatic man overboard systems so that the bridge will be immediately contacted when a person goes overboard. Unfortunately HAL has not bothered to comply with this law. There should never be a situation like this where a person disappears at sea without explanation.
December 28, 2014 Update: Times of India has additional information: "Clifford had joined the ‘Ryndam’ on December 6 as a cook and was to return to his Merbhat home in Agashi, Virar (West) in May next year."
Photo Credit: Top – Wikipedia / Roger Wollstadt Creative Commons 3.0 / Botton – Mumbai Mirror. Video: WFLA
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