Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein reports that a cruise passenger has gone overboard from the Carnival Glory.
According to his CruiseJunkie website:
"From a reader: RE: Carnival Glory, departing Miami, Florida 2015-03-07 16:00. Sometime in the early morning hours of 2015-03-08, en route to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas the passenger went overboard. Carnival verified passenger was onboard and reviewed ships security tapes (according to passenger). Passenger indicates they DID NOT make port call at Half Moon Cay. They continued to do ‘circles’ along with another Carnival ship, looking for passenger."
As I have said many times, it’s a shame that Carnival did not equip its cruise ships with the latest automatic man overboard system which can easily detect people going overboard and send a signal to the bridge in order to initiate immediate search and rescue operations.
A Carnival brand, Holland America Line, touts that it is using thermal-activated MOB systems. See HAL Testing First-Ever Thermal Imaging Man Overboard System?
I was recently intrigued to see a company called MARSS Mobtronic that is advertising a proven high-technology MOB system with a high probability rate. You can see an article discussing the technology here.
Most cruise line are resisting compliance with the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security System’s (CVSSA) requirement for an automatic MOB, claiming that man overboard technology is not reliable. That’s patently a false and misleading argument. The technology clearly exists but the cruise industry simply does not wish to spend the money necessary to save lives.
Carnival’s blogging Cruise Director John Heald confirms the man overboard, a 21 year old man, stating: ". . . . the ship is currently en route to the location where the individual was seen on the camera footage and will commence search and rescue operations upon arrival."
It should be embarrassing for Carnival to have such antiquated old school technology where an officer has to search through the surveillance camera footage after-the-fact to find evidence of a person going overboard and then turns the ship around after it sailed for one or two hundred miles.
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March 10 2015 Update: The missing passenger is reportedly from Virginia Tech.
March 11 2015 Update: The young man’s name, Cameron Smook, has been released. U.K.’s Daily Mail has published an article which can be reviewed here.
March 12 2015 Update: Statement by Senator Richard Blmenthal:
BLUMENTHAL STATEMENT ON END OF SEARCH FOR STUDENT WHO FELL OVERBOARD CRUISE SHIP AND CRUISE INDUSTRY’S CONTINUED FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT STRONGER SAFETY MEASURES
(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement after the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they have suspended their search for a student who fell overboard while on a Carnival Cruise ship and was first reported missing Sunday morning.
“Today, as our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of Cameron Smook, the stark tragic fact is that readily available life-saving technology could have spared him. Reprehensibly, five years after the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was enacted, cruise lines still refuse to upgrade outdated video surveillance technology for the latest in automatic man overboard detection. The cruise industry should be ashamed and embarrassed by this failure to embrace this lifesaving technology. Such technology could have immediately detected Cameron’s fall and made sure valuable time was not wasted reviewing camera footage. In the last two months four individuals have fallen overboard from cruise ships. I will continue to fight for more effective commonsense safety and security measures, such as those included in the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, which I was proud to lead last Congress and intend to see strengthened and reintroduced this Congress.”
In 2013, Blumenthal introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act with Senator Rockefeller to address the serious incidents that continue to occur on cruise ships – a result of the industry’s failure to prioritize consumer awareness, safety, and security. The bill called for providing the over 20 million Americans who plan to take a cruise every year with critical information about the limited scope of their current consumer protections and would take steps to improve accountability in the industry.
March 12 2015 Update: A news station, WDBJ 7 (CBS) in Virginia interviewed me regarding this overboard.
Photo Credit: Jordandkatz / Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0