A young woman went overboard from the Pacific Explorer cruise ship and was found dead in the water approximately seven and one-half hours later. She is the 374 person who has gone overboard from a cruise ship or ferry in the last 25 years, according to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein.

Her identity has not been publicly disclosed yet. She disappeared from the P&O Cruises (Australia) cruise ship around 11:30 p.m. on December 13, 2022 but she was not reported missing until around midnight due to the failure of the ship to install a man overboard system.  At the time of the overboard, the ship was sailing off the South Australian coast near Cape Jaffa. The cruise ship turned around and then searched for the woman. A helicopter involved in the search located the woman’s lifeless body around 7:00 a.m. on December 14, 2022 (Australian time).

Like all other cruise ships owned by Carnival Corp. and operated by Carnival owned cruise brands, the Pacific Explorer was not equipped with available automatic man overboard (MOB) technology which would have instantly notified the bridge officers that a person went over the railings of the ship and into the water. The automatic MOB technology utilizes motion detection and radar systems which automatically sends a signal to the bridge and tracks the overboard person in the water, even at night, so that the ship can immediately begin search and rescue maneuvers.  Without such systems, which cost than $500,000 to install, the chances of locating a  person in the ocean, particularly at night, are akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.

To our knowledge only Disney Cruises and one cruise ship operated by MSC Crises (MSC Meraviglia) have installed the auto MOB systems.

The MSC Meraviglia state of the art automatic man overboard “intelligent video” system  was developed in collaboration with security technology experts, Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. MSC Cruises tested the new man overboard system on this cruise 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 analyzed 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.

The fact that no Carnival Corp. owned cruise brand installs such life saving technology systems makes an utter mockery of Carnival’s marketing slogan that the “safety of its guests is its highest priority.” It is disgraceful that none of the over 90 cruise ships operated by Carnival Cruise Line, Princess, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia and other Carnival Corp. cruise brands utilize such systems.

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Image credit: Pacific Explorer7News via Daily Mail “Tragedy as young woman is found dead after she fell overboard off a cruise ship near the coast of Australia.