A passenger disappeared from the Sun Princess cruise ship during a five-day cruise to Okinawa, Japan after from the port of Keelung in Taiwan on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.
The forty-one year old woman was reportedly traveling with her mother and aunt, according to the Focus Media News Channel.
The article does not state the day or time of the woman’s disappearance, but states that the victim, identified only by her surname Wang (王), was first discovered missing at 6 a.m. on Friday morning.
According to this news source, Princess Cruises subsequently claimed that the ship’s crew allegedly “quickly launched a full-scale search.” However, there are no facts published which shed light of when the woman went overboard or when the cruise ship realized that its guest went overboard. The usual scenario, given the failure of Princess Cruises to equip its ships with automatic man overboard systems like this or this, is for there to be a delay of many hours between the person going over the rails and when the ship begins a search.
Like most cases, it appears that the cruise line first realized after the fact that the woman went into the water after it located camera footage of her “going over the guardrail on the 11th deck of the ship and falling overboard.”
The ship changed course and sent out a rescue team in an attempt to locate the guest. It found the missing woman approximately an hour and fifteen minutes later.
Coast Guard officers in Taiwan yesterday (Sunday) boarded the Princess cruise ship in Keelung after it returned from Okinawa to determine “if foul play was involved in the death of the overboard woman,” according to the news source in Taiwan. The Coast Guard officials examined the body of the Taiwanese woman, who was recovered from the sea after she went overboard from the cruise ship. They also requested to see video footage related to the incident.
According to the CruiseMapper blog, “it wasn’t immediately known whether the accident was related to Typhoon Lekima, that was barreling through the ocean between Japan and Taiwan at the time.”
Safety at Sea reported: “Authorities in Taiwan, China, and Japan have advised ships to take extra care as the typhoon, with maximum winds of 227 km per hour, was originally classified as a super typhoon. The classification was subsequently downgraded.”
According to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein there have been 346 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since the year 2000.
A Princess Cruises passenger also went overboard last week from the Majestic Princess. Last Wednesday, a 45-year-old Chinese man apparently jumped from the Princess cruise ship which sailed out of Shanghai, according to a news source in China.
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August 13, 2019 Update: Overboard woman went over the rails “intentionally,” Princess Cruises now claims in a statement to CNN. Still no explanation why Princess cruise ships have no automatic man overboard systems.
Photo credit: Sun Princess – Bahnfrend – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia; Majestic Princess – BuhaM – extracted from Majestic Princess leaves Bay of Kotor.webmPlay media, CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.