A search is underway for a passenger who reportedly went overboard from the Carnival Triumph last night, according to passengers onboard the Carnival cruise ship.
Several passengers on the ship notified me that a woman went overboard from the Triumph, which was announced to the passengers around 8:30-9:00 last night. It is less than clear when the guest actually went into the water. The ship stopped and initiated a search and rescue and then began circling to search for the passenger. Crew members launched rescue boats in the water and scanned the waters for the passenger. The master of the ship also made regular announcements of the search and crew members have been showing passengers a photograph of the missing guest.
The Triumph is on a cruise to Mexico and was heading to Cozumel, at the time of the disappearance, where it was scheduled to arrive today, after leaving New Orleans on Saturday, January 20, 2018.
In March of 2015, a 54 year old passenger went overboard from the Triumph during a cruise to Mexico.
Over the past three years, five passengers went overboard from the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Victory, Carnival Elation, Carnival Ecstasy, and the Carnival Liberty (yes, two passengers from this Carnival ship in last two years). A crew member disappared from the Carnival Inspiration two months ago.
To my knowledge, Carnival has not equipped its fleet of cruise ships with automatic man-overboard systems with 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).
According to cruise expert Ross Klein, there have been 303 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000.
Last Friday, a woman died after falling from the balcony of her cabin on the 14th deck down to the 11th deck on the Carnival Elation cruise ship. Her traveling partner was arrested and taken to jail in Freeport, Bahamas.
I contacted Carnival for information but have not receive a statement at this time.
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Photo credit: Scott Lucht – Own work, GFDL, commons / wikimedia.
Here is a statement received from Carnival:
"Earlier this evening, a 44-year-old female guest was seen going overboard from the Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico while the ship was on the second day of a five-day cruise from New Orleans.
Search and rescue operations are underway and all appropriate authorities have been notified. Carnival’s CARE Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family.
Carnival Triumph operates four- and five-day cruises from New Orleans."
Update: The search has been assumed by the Mexican navy and coast guard as of this morning (January 22nd); the Carnival Triumph is now proceeding to Cozumel.