Key West newspaper The Citizen reports that a passenger from a cruise ship sailing to Key West yesterday has disappeared from the ship.
The newspaper writes that “the Coast Guard is continuing to search for a man who fell off a Celebrity cruise ship bound for Key West. The 66-year-old man was last spotted by a video camera aboard the Celebrity cruise ship Constellation at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, 23 miles south of Summerland Key in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Coast Guard Lt. Peter Bermont.”
The newspaper quotes the Coast Guard lieutenant stating that “we don’t know the circumstance of how the man fell overboard. He was not on the vessel once it moored in Key West.”
Coast Guard aircraft and vessels reportedly searched yesterday and today without success.
This case is the latest situation where a cruise ship fails to have a automatic man overboard system (MOB) to detect persons going overboard and signal the bridge. Such systems are required by the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act. There are many systems (motion detection, thermal imagery, etc.) which are reliable and currently available to the cruise industry.
Earlier this month, a 22 year-old passenger disappeared from the Oasis of the Seas without Royal Caribbean knowing. To add to the cruise line’s embarrassment, a passing Disney ship rescued the Royal Caribbean passenger, some five hours later.
How long will the cruise lines refuse to invest in the MOB technology? There’s no other way for an officer on watch to spot an overboard passenger or crew member going into the water at night.
There have been others lost at sea under similar circumstances on the Constellation:
February 3 2015 Update: The Citizen newspapers says that the passenger was from Canada and fell from deck 11. There was apparently no signs of foul play.
February 4 2015 Update: News papers are identifying the missing passenger as “Carol Tremblay.” Mr. Tremblay was identified in the KeyInfoNet which also quoted a Coast Guard saying “this is a foreign-flagged ship with a foreign citizen aboard, so it’s not really in the Coast Guard’s purview to do much more at this point.” Newspapers in Canada say that Mr. Tremblay had recently retired a trailer in Florida to enjoy his retirement.
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Top: “Constellation” by Megadri licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Bottom: “IMG CONSTBRG 4604” by Nad7080 licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons