A cruise passenger reportedly went overboard from the Norwegian Spirit last night around 2:00 A.M, according to the Express newspaper.
The NCL cruise ship was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 30 miles south of the port city of Cartagena, Spain. The ship was apparently sailing toward Alicante and now will sail on to Barcelona.
The Spanish Coast Guard spokesman was reportedly notified around 2:15 A.M. A Coast Guard spokesperson said that “several vessels are taking part in an ongoing search along with two coastguard helicopters and a plane. . . The man who has gone overboard is a 34-year-old of Saudi origin. I do not have information about the circumstances of how he ended up in the water.”
AIS reports show the Norwegian Spirit conducting search patterns and then sailing northeast toward Alicante / Barcelona.
According to cruise expert Professor Ross Klein, at least 307 people have gone overboard since 2000.
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April 20, 2018 Update: A newspaper in Riyadh mentions that the disappearance involved Omar Salman Awadh Al-Matiri, a Saudi national who reportedly studied in the United States before joining Saudi Aramco to work as civil engineer and pilot (photo above right).