A passenger went overboard from the MSC Divina late last week, according to a passenger who reported the incident to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein who operates the popular CruiseJunkie web site.
The passenger stated “Last week we were on the MSC Divina and there a person went overboard. Around 6 in the morning the signal man overboard woke up the entire boat. We were on our way to Valencia. The boat turned around and about an our later the man (or woman) was found!”
The passenger referred to a video (apparently taken by an Italian passenger) on YouTube showing the rescue (bottom).
Another passenger reported on Twitter that a man jumped overboard and was rescued around 90 minutes later:
— Vickie Stephens (@1AKA_VS) September 29, 2019
There have been at least 351 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000. Dr. Klein’s data further indicates that a least 16 passengers and crew members have gone overboard from MSC cruise ships in the last 13 years. An average of over 22 people disappear each year from cruise ships and only 13.8% are saved.
The last passenger who went overboard from another MSC cruise ship, the MSC Meraviglia, this past July was quickly rescued, although she later died in a hospital.
The MSC Meraviglia is one of the few cruise lines in the world which has implemented a state of the art automatic man overboard system. As I explained shortly after the MSC Meraviglia first was launched, MSC Cruises developed an “intelligent video capturing and analysis system” in collaboration with security technology experts, Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. MSC Cruises tested the new man overboard system on the company’s newest ship which debuted in June of 2017. MSC reported that “through over 25,000 hours of video analysis, extensive software testing and continuous algorithmic updates, the system has now reached a confirmed accuracy level of 97%.”
The man overboard data and images are analysed by two separate and independent image processing systems which significantly lower false alerts. Once the alarm is activated in case of an overboard, an acoustic signal and light will notify the ship’s security officer, in a central security room, who can immediately retrieve and review the images and data and immediately notify the bridge to begin rescue efforts, according to the Seatrade magazine.
MSC did not attribute the rescue of the overboard woman from the MSC Meraviglia directly to the success of its new overboard system. However, it released a statement to a German newspaper stating: “Our ship’s security systems and ship’s command responded promptly, effectively and appropriately.” The newspaper continued by reporting that “within minutes, the ship had changed its route and returned to where the incident occurred.”
MSC claimed in 2017 that it would begin to retrofit the rest of its fleet of cruise ships with automatic man overboard systems. It is unknown whether MSC has retrofitted the MSC Divina with such a system.
Unfortunately, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not mandate the use of such technology. Trade organizations, like the Cruise Line International Organization (CLIA), unreasonably resists the move toward this life-saving technology, citing a myriad of excuses (alleging the cost and unreliability of the technology) which are belied by the success of the systems which are available on the market today.
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