The Cruise Critic message board mentions that a passenger went overboard and was rescued from a Princess cruise ship. The person starting the thread speculated that the passenger jumped. The cruise line of course has not issued a statement. The incident reportedly occurred on the Sapphire Princess during the week of January 17, 2015.
It is always of interest to me to see how the cruising public responds to these type of incidents at sea.
Most cruisers on this thread were quick to judge the person going overboard, harshly calling him an "idiot," "stupid," "twit," "fool," "far down the gene pool," and someone who could win the "Darwin Award."
Unfortunately, even when there is no indication that the person jumped, there is still a group mentality that brings out these type of personal attacks. I have seen these type of criticisms freely leveled against dead or missing passengers even when it turned out that the missing person was thrown overboard.
Some vacationers believe that the person going overboard should die. When I read these type of comments, I pause and think who is such a person and are they teaching their children such cruelty? One commented on this particular situation that "it is a shame that Darwin did not take precedence over rescuing. Just think – this idiot may have children and pass his genes on to his offspring."
But there are some people, albeit a minority, on the message board who demonstrated compassion. One cruiser wrote "every person has value and it’s not up to me to judge his or her value." Another said "since none of us know his mental/emotional state, why do some resort to cruelty and downright mean spirited comments?"
But character assassination seems to be usual attitude in the world of cruising. It’s a step away from a Nazi-like mentality to say that the gene pool would be improved if overboard passengers would just sink to the bottom of the ocean and not inconvenience the passengers enjoying the cruise.
Such a mentality prohibits a meaningful discussion of how to prevent future tragedies. These type of people appear indifferent to the notion that cruise line corporations should invest in improvements to lifesaving technologies and techniques. For reasons not clear to me, many people seem to find enjoyment in mocking families who experience the horror of losing a loved one at sea.
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Photo Credit: "Sapphire Princess at Hakata port" by Spaceaero2 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons