Auckland entertainer Will Martin was aboard Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess, in a gig as a headliner entertainer on Friday, February 17, 2017 around 4:00 pm local time when he reported to his Facebook fans, that a cruise ship passenger went overboard.
Sun Princess was sailing between Brisbane Australia in the Northwestern province of Queensland and New Caledonia, when the man overboard (MOB) alert went out over the ship’s public address system.
Two life rings were tossed overboard and the cruise ship stopped, turned around and deployed a rescue boat to look for the woman who was not named. Within a reported 15 minutes the ship had turned around to look for the passenger.
However, the woman never made it to either life rings. Around 4:30, the passenger had been located by the rescue boat and was being returned to the cruise ship.
Typically, passenger overboard incidents are categorized as suicides or suicidal behavior. It’s virtually impossible to accidentally fall from a cruise ship. Suicidal behavior incidents typically fall into the “alcohol was involved” sub-category. Though, they are commonly acts by young thrill seekers, testing their abilities without considering the science of a cruise ship moving at an average speed of 20 knots (26 mph).
On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2017, Kevin Wellons, a passenger from Michigan went overboard from Carnival Elation. Wellons was on a 5-day Bahamas cruise with his girlfriend when he went missing from the cruise ship.
Wellons was the second person overboard in 2017. Jeon Pierre Knorr, 74, went overboard while and he and his wife were on a 7-night Caribbean cruise aboard MSC Cruises’s MSC Divina on January 2, 2017.
In 2016, our Cruise Ship Deaths website documented and confirmed 11 people who went overboard from cruise ships. In 2015, Cruise Ship Deaths confirmed 28 people went overboard.
It is very rare for a person who goes overboard to be found alive. August 2016, Ms Fan, 32, was on a Royal Caribbean cruise with her family when she alleged that she leaned over a railing too far and fell into the sea.
However, photos of the woman taken two days later, after a fishing boat came upon the woman and returned her to the cruise ship tell a different story. The short Asian woman could not have possibly accidentally fallen overboard by leaning over the railing too much; her center of gravity was too low for the 45 inch high railings.
These accounts, which are far too common, are usually created by persons who impulsively jumped overboard. Finding themselves in the sea and plucked from the ocean by rescuers, they fabricate an accidental fall over the railing. In one case, a woman claimed her boyfriend had tried to murder her.
On July 19, 2015, Flora Stuardo, 53, from Turin, Italy went overboard from the cabin balcony where she and her boyfriend Giovanni Piawere, were guests. Costa Cruises’ Costa Fortuna was in Flam, Norway on a nine-day Northern Europe cruise when she was rescued from the ocean. She later recanted and said he did not push her.
Sarah Alexandra Kirby went overboard from Carnival Destiny on October 21, 2012, en route from Miami to Jamaica. After being in the ocean for an hour and a half, she was rescued by the cruise ship crew searching from within their rescue boat. Kirby admits alcohol was involved and she later filed a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines for letting her get drunk.
September 3, 2009, a male passenger, 34, was aboard Carnival Sensation, when he crawled over his cruise ship cabin balcony after he argued with a woman. Witnesses who heard the argument, reported the man said he would jump and she told him to go ahead.
June 16, 2009, Larry Miller, 46, was aboard Carnival Inspiration, when he alleged that he was leaning overboard as the ship sailed into Tampa, Florida. He was found clinging to a buoy in the harbor.
Noojady Nithynanda Shetty, 49 and his wife Kasturi Nithyanda Shetty, 47, both from India, were aboard Superstar Virgo on April 13, 2009, when he threatened to jump overboard during an argument. He jumped and she jumped in to rescue him. She was rescued, his body washed ashore two weeks later. His family alleges he was murdered for his money.
On March 5, 2007, Airforce Cadet Ernesto Guzman, 22, and Certified Lifeguard Clarice Partee, 20, fell overboard from Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess. Both were recovered. The couple were allegedly doing a “mutual activity” fueled by alcohol, when Partee fell overboard and Guzman jumped in to save her.