On the heels of the passenger going overboard yesterday from the Carnival Liberty, I have learned from several passengers on the Coral Princess that a passenger went overboard from the Princess cruise ship on May 11th.
A passenger on the Coral Princess tweeted earlier this week:
"Captain of the Coral Princess, my home away from home, advised that a male of Russian origin jumped overboard yesterday AM."
Another passenger commented that she had just returned from a Los Angeles – Vancouver cruise on the Coral Princess and that a man overboard incident has occurred during the cruise. She said that she was shocked to come home and not be able to find any news on this incident.
She continued with an explanation regarding what happened:
"It was a passenger. "The announcement said ‘it appeared to be voluntary’ that he left the ship. Only made the announcement once and we were outside so didnt hear it all. They had paged for him a number of times at dinner on Wednesday (early seating) and then came to a slow and stop for awhile….lots of security and other staff sweeping decks to check for him. The announcement was on Thursday morning to inform the rest of the passengers."
A third passenger added additional information on my Facebook page about what happened:
"He was on our Deck, Dolphin 614. Security was standing guard outside his cabin. At dinner time, May 11, 2016, the kept announcing for him to report to passenger services. Then the captain or the bridge make announcements in English and what sounded like Russian. He had a Russian sounding last name. The ship was stopped for a while, then we got underway again. At noon on May 12, 2016, the captain came on the intercom and s passenger had indeed jumped overboard and was lost at sea. Yesterday in Victoria, a three person CSI team was in the cabin doing a complete investigation. Princess kept the room sealed and guarded from the time they determined he was missing until the team arrived. He had to have gone overboard somewhere around Santa Barbara I would guess."
Two other people disappeared from this cruise ship since 2009.
A crew member from Italy disappeared from the Coral Princess without explanation in November 2009, in a highly suspicious set of circumstances.
A passenger went overboard in May 2013 from the Coral Princess without explanation and without Princess even acknowledging the incident.
As I said after that last incident, there should never be a debate about what happens when a passenger or crew member goes overboard. All cruise ships should have state-of-the-art video cameras to document what happens when a person goes overboard. The ships should also have motion detection systems which signal the bridge immediately when someone leaves the cruise ship on the high seas – whether it be intentionally or accidentally or criminally.
As an aside, it also is an useful anti-terrorism system which can immediately detect whether a person is trying to come over the rails onto the ship and alert the bridge.
This technology exists today with several manufacturers implementing reliable, high tech systems that utilize motion detection, heat sensor, and radar technology to alert the bridge that a guest or crew member has gone over the rails so that immediate rescue efforts can be started.
May 15 2016 Update: I received the following email this evening: "I just got off the Coral Princess. On May 11 a passenger jumped from his balcony. A man was paged several times that afternoon. including pages in what sounded like Russian or a Slavic language. The following day the ship’s captain announced the suicide, saying it had been captured on CCTV. He said the Coast Guard advised him to continue sailing. The ship stopped at Los Angeles on the 10th, but had originated in Ft. Lauderdale. There was no further information from the crew."
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Photo Credit: Roy Luck CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37338048