I have received inquiries on Facebook for information regarding a person overboard from the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas who apparantly disappeared into the water late last night.
Passengers on the ship are stating that there was an “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” (man overboard) announcement around 11:00 P.M. The cruise ship began a search. Lighted life preservers were thrown overboard. The Coast Guard was notified and a helicopter arrived on the scene after an hour and a half. Passengers commented that it was very dark and difficult circumstances to try and rescue anyone.
The cruise ship has returned to port in Port Everglades without rescuing the overboard person or locating his or her body. It is currently unknown whether the person is a passenger or crew member.
Cruise lines may be unable to prevent overboards but there is technology available to automatically detect and quickly respond to these type of emergencies. Take a look at one such system which is readily available on the market. Unfortunately, cruise lines like Royal Caribbean seem to have invested only in virtual balconies, fast internet, the FlowRider and other bells and whistles designed to WOW the customers.
Photo Credit: Ahecht CC BY-SA 4.0, creatiive commons / wikimedia
March 6, 2016 Update: Royal Caribbean released the followings statement:
“On Friday, March 4, 2016, at approximately 10:55 p.m., a guest onboard Navigator of the Seas reported that they had witnessed another guest going overboard from their stateroom balcony. A review of the ship’s closed-circuit camera footage observed a 46-year-old male guest from the U.S. going overboard from deck 10. The location of the ship at the time the guest went overboard was marked on the ship’s Global Positioning System (GPS), and the ship, along with the Coast Guard, conducted a search for the missing guest. Early Saturday morning, the ship was advised by the Coast Guard that they would be assuming control of the search and the ship resumed its journey to Port Everglades, Florida. Royal Caribbean’s Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Navigator of the Seas sailed a six-night itinerary that departed Port Everglades, on February 28, made a port calls to Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, Haiti.”