Early yesterday morning, a cruise passenger went overboard from the MSC Euribia while the cruise ship was sailing in the Sognefjord fjord between Lavik and Oppedal in Norway.

The Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende reports that a passenger “in his late 50’s,” who was traveling with his wife, went overboard around 2:00 a.m. early Thursday morning. The ship sounded an alarm around 2:15 a.m. There are no reported details currently available regarding how or why the person went overboard.

A rescue center in Southern Norway thereafter deployed a rescue helicopter, air ambulance, and several rescue vessels. A rescue boat was also deployed from the MSC ship.

The passenger’s body was located at around 3:00 a.m. and and recovered by a rescue vessel and then taken on board a rescue helicopter and flown to Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen where he was pronounced dead.

The local police in Norway will conduct an investigation and will question the crew and obtain video surveillance from the cruise ship.

The newspaper quotes a local police officer as stating: “This is coded as a suspicious death. We have several hypotheses. It could be an accident, a criminal act, or an intentional act.”

This is the 411th person who has gone overboard since 2000, according to Dr. Ross Klein who maintains the definitive list of cruise ship overboards.

This is also the 7th person who has gone overboard from MSC cruise ships in less than the last seven months.

Two passengers, including this most recent overboard, died after going into the water, one survived and recovered, and three guests and one crew member disappeared in the water.

A twenty-three (23) year-old passenger from Scotland, named Liam Brody Wilkie Jones, went overboard from the MSC Euribia on March 15, 2024.

On February 4, 2024, a passenger fell off the MSC Bellissima cruise ship traveling from Taiwan to Okinawa. According to the Taiwan News, the passenger was located, pulled from the water and then rushed to a hospital, where he was reported to be in good condition following medical treatment.

On December 30, 2023, a passenger went overboard from the MSC Preziosa after the MSC cruise ship left the port of Santos heading to New Year’s Eve festivities in Rio de Janeiro.

A passenger went overboard from the MSC Armonia during a transatlantic cruise to Brazil on December 15, 2023.

A crew member went overboard from the MSC Seascape in waters off of Puerto Rico on November 15, 2023.

Maritime law requires ship owners to immediately take steps to search and rescue passengers (or crew members) as soon as they realize that someone has gone overboard. As a practical matter, this typically involves turning the ship around to the area where the person left the ship. The cruise fan page Cruise Hive reported on this overboard and states that AIS tracking data shows the MSC ship “turning around” shortly after 2:00 a.m.

The crew will often deploy rescue lifecraft and utilize spotlights to search for the overboard person. The captain usually makes announcements that the ship is involved in looking for an overboard guest.

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June 8, 2024:

The New York Post covered the incident.

Image credit: MSC EuribiaVon ND44 – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.