The Times of India reports that an Indian crew member has mysteriously gone missing from a Carnival cruise ship while in transit from Mexico to Los Angeles since November 9th.
Symron Santana Almeida, age 33, a resident of Cuncolim, India reportedly was employed as a wiper in the engine room of the Carnival Inspiration.
The Times states that a Carnival spokesperson has been updating the family since November 12th. Mr. Almeida’s brother, Siffo, has pressed Carnival for details and has demanded that it conduct a proper investigation into the disappearance.
I first learned of the disappearance on Twitter when Mr. Almeida’s neighbor, Mr. Vijay Prabhu, tweeted that "My neighbor Mr. Symron Almeida, from Cuncolim-Goa reported MISSING while sailing on board as employee of Carnival Cruise ship INSPIRATION. Ship Location Los Angeles USA. Family in distress. Please help.. My contact 9823034599."
Mr. Prabhu posted a letter dated November 10th from the Master of the cruise ship about the efforts to locate Mr. Almeida. The letter states in part: "The man overboard cameras were also reviewed and none of the footage captures a person falling in the water."
I believe that the captain is referring to whether any of the ship’s closed circuit televisions (CCTV) cameras may or may not have shown Mr. Almeida going overboard. To my knowledge, the Carnival Inspiration is not equipped with automatic man-overboard cameras which would send a signal to the bridge whenever someone goes overboard. Modern systems today can record the person going over the rails and track them in the water via motion detection, infrared and radar technology. (MSC recently announced that it has begun implementing this technology on its fleet of ships; read MSC Cruises Implements New Man Overboard System Amidst Industry Delays).
It appears that Carnival is one of many cruise lines which has not invested in this technology.
Carnival is therefore left with having to review its shipboard surveillance / CCTV data to see if Mr. Almeida’s movements on, around and from the Inspiration are shown by the cameras. This time-consuming, "old school" method is random and haphazard and may or may not have shown anything even if Mr. Almeida went overboard.
The popular Crew Center website covered this incident and has a description of the contents of the captain’s letter:
I would like to share with you an update regarding one of our valued team members, Symron Santana Almeida, Wiper from our Engine team who was reported missing yesterday evening.
We started an immediate vessel wide search on board for Symron, and as you know, this search continued today into the early hours of the afternoon. The man overboard cameras were also reviewed and none of the footage captures a person falling in the water.
As per our protocols, our onboard investigation continues, and as of this time, unfortunately, Symron has still not been found. All appropriate authorities and our Corporate Office have been notified.
Our CareTeam has been in contact with Symron’s mother and brother and we continue to provide every possible support to his family back in India.
We are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events and ask that you kindly join me in keeping Symron and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any member of the management team. We will keep you informed of any further developments.
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Photo credits: Top – Symron Almeida Facebook page, with photo description "last day in engine room on Carnival Triumph." Bottom – Vijay Prabhu Twitter page.