A cruise guest is reportedly missing from a Carnival cruise ship this morning, according to several passengers including a journalist on the ship. A passenger informed me that the ship is the Carnival Victory.
His photo is being displayed on the television on the cruise ship. Security also conducted a room by room, floor by floor search.
— Kimberly Wyatt (@tv_leader) December 14, 2018
A man really fell off our cruise boat. Now turning around full speed to find him alongside the coast guard and a helicopter. Please pray for him! He’s been missing for 4-5 hours now
— tina (@tinadoiv) December 14, 2018
According to at least one passenger on the ship, CCTV “cameras confirm that the passenger went overboard. It’s unknown if he jumped or fell. The U.S. Coast Guard is searching by air.”
The overboard passenger appears to have gone overboard around 4 or 5 hours earlier, according to passenger accounts.
The Carnival ship was returning to Miami at the time of the overboard.
It does not appear that Carnival has complied with the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which requires cruise ships calling on U.S. ports to be equipped with man overboard systems which automatically send send a signal to the bridge whenever someone goes overboard.
The cruise ship can quickly try to locate and rescue the person using sophisticated motion detection, infrared and radar technology. Numerous experts have recommended such state-of-the-art MOB systems like this and this.
Cruise expert Ross Klein reports that at least 23 people have gone overboard this year. an average of at least 2 people a month. 325 people have gone overboard since 2000.
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December 14, 2018 P.M. Update: The Miami Herald covers the story – 26-year-old man overboard from cruise ship near the Florida Keys. “A 2010 federal law requires cruise ships to be equipped with technology to detect overboard incidents as soon as they happen “to the extent that such technology is available.” Most cruise lines do not believe the available overboard detection technology is reliable, and most ships do not have it. Carnival declined to comment on whether the Carnival Victory has automatic overboard detection technology.”
The refusal by Carnival and other cruise lines to install auto man overboard systems on their ship causes extraordinary delays in searching for the person going overboard. Ms. Wyatt (above) was tweeting about the man overboard before 8:00 a.m this morning.
December 15, 2018 Update: The Orlando Sentinel identified the overboard guest as 26 year-old Thomas McElhany.
Photo credit: Top – Carnival Victory AIS – MarineTraffic; missing passenger – Kimberly Wyatt @tv_leader