A crew member employed by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has reportedly gone overboard from the Norwegian Getaway as the cruise ship was returning from a Caribbean cruise.
There is conflicting information regarding exactly when the crew member went overboard. Some passengers have stated on social media that the crew member went overboard late at night (around 1:00 A.M.) or early this morning (3-4 A.M.). The captain of the NCL ship made an announcement earlier this afternoon and the ship turned around to conduct a search.
Miami Local News 10 reports that according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the crew member is a 33-year-old Filipino crew member who allegedly went overboard around 3:30 p.m. when the Getaway was about 28 miles northwest of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. The Coast Guard station in Miami deployed a HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane to search the waters northwest of Cuba.
It seems possible, if not likely, that the news account may be reporting when the Coast Guard was first notified by the cruise ship of the missing crew member as opposed to when the crew member actually left the ship.
The Getaway left Miami last Sunday, June 24th, for a one week cruise which included ports in Mexico, Belize and Honduras. The ship left Cozumel yesterday evening and was expected to return to Miami early tomorrow morning.
We were first notified of the incident when an oncoming guest stated that the Getaway has been delayed because a crew member went overboard.
It does not appear that the ship was equipped with an automatic man overboard system that would immediately send an alarm to the bridge went a person goes over the rails and can capture an image of the person and track the person in the water via radar and infrared technology.
According to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein, 313 people have gone overboard since 2000.
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Read about what appears to be a similar crew member overboard, where the investigation by the flag state revealed how Royal Caribbean bungled the man overboard search: Royal Caribbean Unreasonably Delays Reporting Overboard Crew Member from Vision of the Seas.
July 1 2018 Update: A miracle. Overboard Missing Cruise Employee Found 21 Miles North Of Cuba.
Photo credit: Dickelbers – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.