Coral PrincessThe Coral Princess arrived in Fort Lauderdale this weekend with 157 of 2,016 cruise passengers aboard the Princess Cruises’ ship stricken with nausea/vomiting and diarrhea which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suspect are symptoms related to norovirus.

The noro-infected passengers comprise 7.79% of the total passenger population on the ship. 25 of 881 (2.84%) crew members are also infected.

The CDC was unable to conclude where the norovirus came from. I am not aware of a single instance when the CDC has pinpointed the cause of a cruise ship disease outbreak. Unfortunately, the public is often left with the "blame game" of wondering whether the cruise ship food or water was contaminated (which the CDC and FDA generally say are the most likely causes of gastrointestinal outbreaks), or the outbreak was caused by a sick galley worker, or was brought aboard by sick passengers, and then spread because of inadequate hygiene and poor cleaning procedures.

Several years ago, Time magazine published an article titled 13 Worst Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships. The overall winner of Time’s top 13 list was Princess Cruises which had five outbreaks on its brand alone: Crown Princess (January 2010) with 396 ill; Crown Princess (February 2012) – 363; Ruby Princess (March 2013) – 276; Coral Princess (February 2009) – 271; and Sun Princess (July 2012) – 216.

The last norovirus outbreak involving the Coral Princess was in April 2015.

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Photo credit: Roy Luck – CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia.

Hat tip to the popular Crew Center blog which first covered the outbreak. 

On the heels of the passenger going overboard yesterday from the Carnival Liberty, I have learned from several passengers on the Coral Princess that a passenger went overboard from the Princess cruise ship on May 11th.

A passenger on the Coral Princess tweeted earlier this week: 

"Captain of the Coral Princess, my home away from home, advised that a male of Russian origin jumped overboard yesterday AM."

Another passenger commented that she had just returned from a Los Angeles – Vancouver cruise on the Coral Princess and that a man overboard incident has occurred during the cruise. She said that she Coral Princesswas shocked to come home and not be able to find any news on this incident.

She continued with an explanation regarding what happened:

"It was a passenger.  "The announcement said ‘it appeared to be voluntary’ that he left the ship. Only made the announcement once and we were outside so didnt hear it all. They had paged for him a number of times at dinner on Wednesday (early seating) and then came to a slow and stop for awhile….lots of security and other staff sweeping decks to check for him. The announcement was on Thursday morning to inform the rest of the passengers."

A third passenger added additional information on my Facebook page about what happened:

"He was on our Deck, Dolphin 614. Security was standing guard outside his cabin. At dinner time, May 11, 2016, the kept announcing for him to report to passenger services. Then the captain or the bridge make announcements in English and what sounded like Russian. He had a Russian sounding last name. The ship was stopped for a while, then we got underway again. At noon on May 12, 2016, the captain came on the intercom and s passenger had indeed jumped overboard and was lost at sea. Yesterday in Victoria, a three person CSI team was in the cabin doing a complete investigation. Princess kept the room sealed and guarded from the time they determined he was missing until the team arrived. He had to have gone overboard somewhere around Santa Barbara I would guess."

Two other people disappeared from this cruise ship since 2009.

A crew member from Italy disappeared from the Coral Princess without explanation in November 2009, in a highly suspicious set of circumstances. 

A passenger went overboard in May 2013 from the Coral Princess without explanation and without Princess even acknowledging the incident.

As I said after that last incident, there should never be a debate about what happens when a passenger or crew member goes overboard. All cruise ships should have state-of-the-art video cameras to document what happens when a person goes overboard. The ships should also have motion detection systems which signal the bridge immediately when someone leaves the cruise ship on the high seas – whether it be intentionally or accidentally or criminally.

As an aside, it also is an useful anti-terrorism system which can immediately detect whether a person is trying to come over the rails onto the ship and alert the bridge.  

This technology exists today with several manufacturers implementing reliable, high tech systems that utilize motion detection, heat sensor, and radar technology to alert the bridge that a guest or crew member has gone over the rails so that immediate rescue efforts can be started. 

May 15 2016 Update: I received the following email this evening: "I just got off the Coral Princess. On May 11 a passenger jumped from his balcony. A man was paged several times that afternoon. including pages in what sounded like Russian or a Slavic language. The following day the ship’s captain announced the suicide, saying it had been captured on CCTV. He said the Coast Guard advised him to continue sailing. The ship stopped at Los Angeles on the 10th, but had originated in Ft. Lauderdale. There was no further information from the crew."

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Photo Credit: Roy Luck CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37338048

This morning I received a message from a passenger on the Coral Princess that the Princess Cruises cruise ship picked up 7 Cuban migrants in a small make-shift boat.  

The photo sent to me showed what appeared to be at least one man in distress lying on his back near the bow of the boat. 

Here’s the message which I received:

"Coral princess just rescued 7 cubans on a damaged small boat off the coast of cuba…we are on our way back to FL with 7 cubans on board."

Usually cruise ships which take Cuban migrants aboard deliver them to a Coast Guard vessel and the migrants are returned to Cuba.

Cuban Migrants

The Coral Princess arrived in Los Angeles today with 71 of the 1,958 cruise passengers aboard the  Princess Cruises’ ship stricken with norovirus symptoms of nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the noro-infected passengers comprise 3.63% of the total passenger population on the ship. 6 of 881 crew members are also infected.

The CDC determined the the gastrointestinal outbreak to be norovirus. Unfortunately, the CDC was unable to conclude where the norovirus came from. I am not aware of a single time when the CDC has pinpointed the cause of a cruise ship disease outbreak. The public is left with the "blame game" of wondering whether the cruise ship food or water was contaminated, or the outbreak was caused by a Coral Princess Cruise Shipsick galley worker, or was brought aboard by sick passengers and then spread because of inadequate hygiene and poor cleaning procedures.

Last year, Time magazine titled The 13 Worst Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships. The overall winner of Time’s top 13 list was Princess Cruises which had five outbreaks on its brand alone: Crown Princess (January 2010) with 396 ill; Crown Princess (February 2012) – 363; Ruby Princess (March 2013) – 276; Coral Princess (February 2009) – 271; and Sun Princess (July 2012) – 216.

The Coral Princess has been one of the Princess cruise ships most likely to be infected with norovirus. Princess and Holland America Line historically have the sickest cruise ships in the cruise industry’s fleet.

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Photo Credit: "Coral Princess – IMO 9229659 (2937202430)" by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA – Uploaded by Navigans. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

On Friday October 24, 2014, a "rescue boat" on the Coral Princess was being raised on davits with two crew members aboard when a cable snapped. The vessel fell into the water. One crew member identified as Husnan Fauzan sustained mortal injuries and died. The second crew member identified as Steven Bagshaw sustained injuries and was treated in the hospital. 

The fatal accident occurred in Colon, Panama. 

Princess Cruises released this statement on Facebook:

"It is with deep sadness that I must share the news that our colleague Husnan Fauzan has passed Coral Princessaway from injuries he sustained in the tragic accident on Coral Princess yesterday. Husnan, who served as SGP1, joined Princess in 2004.

Husnan, along with Bosun Steven Bagshaw, were onboard a rescue boat that was in the process of being hoisted when it fell back into the water. Both men were taken to the hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, Husnan did not survive. Steven is currently still in the hospital in stable condition."

We also received this statement from Princess:

"On October 24 two of our crew members were in one of the ship’s rescue boats doing some maintenance work on the hull of Coral Princess. When the boat was being raised back onboard the ship, one of the cables that raises and lowers the boat parted, and the boat dropped back into the water with our two crew members inside.

We immediately responded and discovered that these crew members had, unfortunately, sustained injuries which necessitated their transfer to a shoreside hospital for evaluation and treatment.

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we confirm that one of the crew members subsequently passed away from his injuries. This has devastated everyone across the entire Princess Cruises organization.

We are, and will continue to support his family during this difficult period."

It is a dangerous practice to raise boats with crew members inside. Cable and davit failures are relatively common and cause catastrophic injuries.  

In 2012, the cruise industry’s trade group, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), adopted a new policy prohibiting crew members in lifeboats when they are being raised or lowered. But some ships still engage in this dangerous practice.

In 2013, we wrote about another cruise line which ignored the CLIA-safety policy with disastrous consequences: CLIA Safety Proposal Ignored: Lifeboat Plunges 60 Feet, 5 Dead

We will post any photographs or videos of the tragic incident if they are available.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA Creative Commons 2.0

The Alaska Dispatch reports that a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter medevaced an ill cruise ship passenger off a cruise ship yesterday.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew, stationed in Sitka, flew to the Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess cruise ship while it was in Glacier Bay. The helicopter hoisted the passenger, who was suffering from stroke-like symptoms, and transported her to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.   

Coral Princess Glacier Bay Alaska

Photo Credit: Get Up and Go Magazine 

The Cruise Critic message boards contain a discussion that there was a fire aboard Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess cruise ship last night.

The comments indicate that there was a great deal of smoke but the fire was extinguished without injury to passengers or crew. There is conflicting information regarding exactly where the fire occurred. There is a mention of the fire being on deck 9, although the heading to the comments refers to what is described as an "engine room fire."

Princess Cruises and the Coral Princess are owned by cruise giant Carnival PLC. 

Please leave a comment if you have information about the fire.

Coral Princess Cruise Ship Fire 

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein and the Cruise Critic message boards are reporting that on Sunday, March 24th a passenger was reported overboard from the Coral Princess cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises.

There is a vague reference to a passenger-possibly-going-over-the-rails on the Cruise Critic site, but as is the case with most overboard cruise ship cases there are no clear facts and lots of speculation.

There should never be a debate about what happens when a passenger or crew member goes overboard.  All cruise ships should have state-of-the-art surveillance cameras to document what Coral Princess Cruise Shiphappens when a person goes overboard. The ships should also have motion detection systems which signal the bridge immediately when someone leaves the cruise ship on the high seas – whether it be intentionally or accidentally or criminally.

All of the Cruise Critic members jumped immediately to the conclusion that the case involves a suicide. They just as quickly offered their on-line-prayers and condolences.  

But there is no statement by Princess Cruises about what happened, assuming you were naive enough to believe the cruise line PR. There’s no report of the results of an official investigation, but that’s not unusual because Princess Cruises is incorporated in and registers it cruise ships in Bermuda, to avoid U.S. taxes and safety regulations, which is indifferent to what happens on Bermuda flagged cruise ships. And there is no report of an investigation by law enforcement officers in the next port of call.

Was this an accident, a suicide, or a crime?  I don’t know.

It’s a real shame that there are no news accounts, no official investigation and only lots of speculation by cruise fans who blame the dead passenger, say a hollow prayer and then forget about it.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia 

A Thanksgiving Day diving trip in South Florida turned deadly when a 45-foot catamaran, the Coral Princess, flipped over and dumped nearly two dozen people into the water as the vessel was returning to shore. 

One person, Nina Poppelsdorf, age 54, from New Mexico, drowned after she was caught under the hull of the capsized water craft. 

According to ABC News, witnesses said the Coral Princess was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a 8 to 10 feet high wave flipped the boat. 

The Coral Princess is a catamaran owned by South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida.

An ABC News video of the incident is below:

  

http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/1_tfiojtbd/uiconf_id/3775332/st_cache/46441?referer=http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/florida-boat-accident-dead-injured-boat-capsizes-17791748&autoPlay=false&addThis.playerSize=392×221&freeWheel.siteSectionId=nws_offsite&closedCaptionActive=true&addThis.playerSize=640×360&closedCaptionsOverPlayer.fontsize=18

 

 

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera contains an interesting update today on the mysterious disappearance of a young Italian chef from a Princess Cruises cruise ship in November 2009.

The story involves Angelo Faliva, a chef from Cremona Italy who was employed by Princess Cruises aboard the Coral Princess.  Mr. Faliva was last seen working in the Sabatini’s restaurant on November 25, 2009.  Although his work shift did not end until 10:00 PM, and he essentially disappeared around 8:15 PM, no one sounded an alarm until the following day.

Angelo Faliva - Princess Cruises - Coral Princess - MissingThe cruise ship was heading toward Cartagena, Columbia while some 2,000 passengers enjoyed their dinners and the entertainment during the evening of Mr. Faliva’s disappearance.  What happened to this outgoing young man?

The Italian article, "The Mystery of the Chef who Disappeared on a Cruise," touches upon some of the theories which we have discussed in prior articles.  Did Mr. Faliva observe something he should not have, such as drug trafficking?  Certainly there is nothing about this handsome out-going man to suggest that suicide is a reasonable explanation.

The article contains some new information, such as someone logging on to Mr. Faliva’s laptop after his disappearance and downloading files, printing documents and deleting e-mails.  There is also a reference to a hotel in Cartagena – Capilla del Mar – which was hand written inside of Mr. Faliva’s chef hat.  This is the same hotel referenced in online research performed on Mr. Faliva’s computer on the day he disappeared. 

It is now going on two years since Mr. Faliva was last seen on the Coral Princess.  There are hundreds of closed circuit television cameras on this cruise ship.  Indeed Princess is well known for its fleet-wide bridge cams and wedding cams where you can watch passengers get married on the cruise ships with remarkable clarity from the comfort of your home computer.  But when someone goes into the water?  Like other cruise lines, Princess seems to always have problems with its CCTV cameras when someone involuntarily goes over the rails. 

The article mentions that Mr. Faliva’s younger sister, Chiara, is the only person genuinely motivated to search for answers.  The official "investigation" is the responsibility of Bermuda where Princess flags its cruise ships to avoid U.S. taxes and labor and safety laws.  As other families have learned dealing with foreign flagged cruise ships, the "investigation" by the flag state into shipboard crimes and disappearances is a low priority. The cruise line is indifferent.  

As the article explains, Mr. Faliva’s story is " . . . segnata dall’incompetenza degli investigatori, l’insensibilità della compagnia di navigazione . . ."

 

Some crewmembers must have information about Mr. Faliva.  if you know something, please leave a tip at lawinfo@cruiselaw.com

You can read other articles about Mr. Faliva here