The U.S. Coast Guard reports that it is searching for a 37-year-old man who fell overboard from the Carnival Victory approximately 30 miles northwest of Cuba.
The Coast Guard 7th District received a report from the Carnival Victory that a crewmember fell overboard and dispatched a HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Miami and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton to search. The Coast Guard did not state when the crew member went overboard or when it received notification from the Carnival ship.
.@USCG is searching for a 37-year-old man Thursday who fell overboard from the cruise ship Carnival Victory approximately 30 miles northwest of Cuba. More here: https://t.co/KmsI8JENtA pic.twitter.com/KN7EEpIbUG
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) July 4, 2019
People provided information on social media that the crew member went overboard as the ship was north of Cuba as it was heading back to Miami.
Man overboard on Carnival Victory between Cuba and Florida Keys! Been searching for couple hours now but no Coast Guard yet.. #carnivalcruise #cnn #cruise #carnival #overboard pic.twitter.com/HmSuv6ll0b
— Jose Medina (@JLM_Three) July 4, 2019
I lost a friend today he fell overboard RIP 💔 Carnival Victory Family #CarnivalVictory pic.twitter.com/kQoIVnT0Hv
— TJ (@tevintravels92) July 4, 2019
Carnival has not invested in automatic man overboard technology which would immediately send a signal to the bridge when someone has gone over the railing. Current systems on the market include infrared and and motion detection systems detect when someone goes overboard and then automatically tracks the person in the water via radar technology. There are a number of systems available, however the Carnival Corporation owned ships do not utilize the systems due to costs.
You can see examples of available systems here and here.
The majority of crew members who go overboard do so intentionally to end their life. There is no public information available to explain what happened in this particular situation, although some people are reporting that the employee was allegedly performing maintenance on the stern of the ship.
The search grid via MarineTraffic (right) shows that the Carnival ship conducted what appears to be a minimal search for the crew member, and is now continuing to return to Miami.
Read Rosie Spink’s article: People fall off cruise ships with alarming regularity. Can anything be done to stop it? via Quartz.
According to cruise expert Ross Klein, there have been 342 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships and large ferries since 2000. The last person to overboard from the Carnival Victory involved a 26 year old passenger last December.
The Carnival Victory is on a four night cruise to Cozumel, leaving Miami on July 1st and scheduled to return tomorrow, July 5th.
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July 6, 2019 Update: Relatives of the missing crew member identify him as Gaffar Satwilkar:
@GOPLeader @shipmin_india @PMOIndia @USCGSoutheast @MEAQuery one of my relatives gaffar Satwilkar from India working in USA carnival cruise name victory. During duty he falls down in sea in Miami on 5.7.19. No any updates till.. please take follow up & inform us #carnivalvictory
— MOHAMMED (@mohammadkop) July 6, 2019
A passenger on the ship suggests via Twitter that “crew member fell according to other crew members while conducting maintenance on the back of the ship.” Another crew member stated that his harness broke or it not put on properly while working on a lifeboat.
According to another crew member his harness broke or wasn’t put on correctly.
— AndyHFilmz (@AndyHFilmz) July 6, 2019
Men over board on Carnival Victory just a few minutes ago! More to come. They are conducting a search and rescue now. #cnn #news #menoverboard pic.twitter.com/iZyX3M6EPL
— AndyHFilmz (@AndyHFilmz) July 6, 2019
We were on this cruise and he did not have any PPE equipment on at all, according to a senior officer I overheard talking. They weren’t happy. I heard them say he fell off the side not the back. They said he had on very heavy deck boots. It breaks my heart.
— Jessica~ (@JeMari81) July 7, 2019