A crew member from the MSC Seaside has been reported going overboard last night south of the Virgin Islands.
A passenger on the MSC cruise ship notified me this morning of the incident. Florida resident Brett Morphis stated that the ship used spotlights to search for the crew member starting around 3 A.M. and continuing throughout the night. The captain of the ship made an official announcement around 7 A.M., followed by a second announcement this morning stating that the search was continuing with prayers for the crew member. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and a Carnival ship (the Carnival Glory) as well as smaller commercial vessels reportedly were all engaged in the search. AIS systems seems to show that the MSC Seaside turned around west of the Virgin Islands and returned to a spot where the ship believed the crew member went overboard.
It is unknown whether the MSC Seaside was equipped with an automatic man overboard system which would have instantly alerted the bridge when the crew member went over the railing.
Last October, MSC Cruises announced that it installed a state-of-the-art man overboard system on the MSC Meraviglia and is planning to deploy similar systems across its fleet of cruise ships.
The man overboard has been identified as a 37 year-old crew member from the Philippines.
A news report from Puerto Rico states that the crew member “went overboard from the seventh deck of the Maltese-flagged cruise ship at approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday. The cruise ship crew launched a search and contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at approximately 4 a.m. alerting them of the situation.” If this account is accurate, it is unclear why there was a three hour delay by the cruise ship in notifying the Coast Guard of the man overboard.
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