German newspapers are reporting that a crewmember, identified by his first name as “Mathias,” disappeared from the AIDAbella cruise ship earlier this year.

The Bild newspaper was the first publication to mention that an investigation is underway to explain the disappearance of the German crew member from the AIDA cruise ship in February of this year.

Six and one-half months ago, on February 22nd, crew member Mathias went over the rails as the cruise ship was sailing in Malaysian waters. The crew member last communicated with his wife, Gabi, early on February 21st when they exchanged text messages. Another German newspaper writes that Gabi then sent “three more messages to his cell phone – they all remain unanswered. After two long, worrisome days of uncertainty, Gabi . . . received a phone call from the Aida hiring manager and a pastor telling her that her husband has jumped” off of the cruise ship.

The German press asks “what happened in the 27 hours between Mathias’s last message and his death?” When Mathias’ wife finally received her husband’s suitcase two weeks later, she reportedly found blood stains on many of its contents, such as on a T-shirt, pairs of trousers and shoes, and his laptop and iPad.

AIDA claims that  Mathias cut his wrists but his wife asks the Bild newspaper how he somehow walked from deck 3 to deck 5 without anyone noticing the bleeding and without a trace of blood being documented?

I first read about the disappearance from cruise expert Professor Ross Klein, who has documented 320 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000.

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Photo credit: Maciek Godlewski – CC BY 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

 

FTI Berlin Lifeboat Non Conformity This weekend I was notified by a passenger, on a German cruise ship named the Berlin, that the ship has been stuck in Dublin, Ireland for the past several days.

I was not familiar with the cruise ship or the German cruise line, FTI, which operates it. I have learned that the Berlin is considered to be a small cruise ship, carrying a little over 400 passengers. It was built in 1980 and is flagged in Malta.

The Berlin arrived at its scheduled port of call early in the morning of June 14, 2018 in Dublin, where it has remained for the past three days. The delay has already caused the passengers to miss the remaining port of call. It appears that the passengers will be disembarked today in Dublin and flown back to Bremerhaven. Embarkation for new passengers will reportedly occur tomorrow in Dublin.

“We arrived on 14 June suppose to sail same date 17.00.  Suppose to sail yesterday then said today finally this morning captain said to guest waiting for information from the home office and port authorities.  Guests were given 250 euro on their cards and refunded their excursion fares.”

The cause of the delay seems to be a problem with one of its 6 lifeboats which, reportedly, is “out of order.”  The exact problem with lifeboat no. 6 has not been disclosed to the guests or crew but it was discovered by port authorities during an inspection on June 14th.

Maritime regulations including Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) require a minimum number of operational lifecrafts (a combination of lifeboats and liferafts).

Photo credit: Anonymous

Interested in this issue? Read Floating Drydocks at Sea – A Growing Problem? It seems that passengers on cruise lines operated by German companies are subject to  the same problems on U.S. based cruise lines.

FTI Berlin Lifeboat Non Conformity

Swiss CrystalThe M/S Swiss Crystal river cruise ship collided with a highway bridge on the Rhine river near Duisburg, Germany last night.

The river cruise ship is operated by the Swiss shipping company, SCYLLA AG, which operates several dozen ships on the waterways of Europe.

Press Online reported that nearly 30 people were injured in the accident. The injury tally was reduced to 25 people injured as of this morning, with five sustaining serious injuries. Most of the passengers were reportedly Dutch. 

The 129 people were aboard the vessel, called a "hotel ship," which was traveling towards the Netherlands at the time of the incident. There were 103 guests and 26 crew members on the ship at Swiss Crystalthe time of the accident. There is no indication regarding the break down of those injured. 

About a hour later, another Scylla passenger ship reportedly came to the aid of the Swiss Crystal and took the crew members 103 passengers on board.  The passengers had the opportunity to continue the cruise or stay in hotels reportedly provided by the cruise company. 

European river cruises obviously do not have the same capacity as the larger oceangoing cruise ships, but they are not immune from hitting bridges, noro virus outbreaksfires, and more fires

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Photo credit M/S Swiss Crystal – Scylla (bottom); Press Online (top); Getty Imges BBC News.

Swiss Crystal

A-Roda Cruise Ship FireA fire broke out on a Danube River cruise ship today. Around 190 passengers and crew members were evacuated, including eight people who were treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire reportedly broke out in the sauna area of the A-Rosa Riva cruise ship when the ship was west of Vienna, Austria, according to an Austrian newspaper.

150 passengers and 39 crew members were reportedly transferred to another river ship that dropped anchor nearby on the Danube. 

Helicopters reportedly flew the two most seriously injured crew members to hospitals. All of the injured are crew members who tried to extinguish the fire. 

The vessel is registered in Germany and is operated by the A-Rosa Cruises company. 

Photo Credit: nachrichten.at