Going overboard is no accident

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Two passengers have gone overboard from cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico in the past couple of days.
One of them had ignored all the warnings and had slipped after climbing on the ship’s rail to get a better view of a pilot boat’s approach as the Carnival Inspiration was returning to Tampa, Florida at the end of a four-day cruise to Mexico.
How do we know this? Because that’s what he told his rescuers who found him clinging to a navigation buoy, before anyone on the 2,000-passenger ship had even reported him missing.
US Coast Guard officials said he was 46-year-old Larry Miller, and a spokesman for Carnival said he was being treated in hospital for minor injuries to his arms.
In the second incident, a 50-year-old woman was reported missing from the Carnival Holiday, which was about 75 miles south south-west of Pensacola, Florida after a crew member heard a loud splash.
The 1,450-passenger ship, which left Mobile, Alabama on Monday, turned round, lowered lifeboats and searched the area while a roll-call was held on board. Two Coast Guard vessels, two planes and a helicopter joined the search, but there was no sign of the woman, named as Michelle Vilborg, of Alabama.
The Holiday was later allowed to continue on course for Cozumel, Mexico.
So one tragic story, and one happy ending in another chapter of overboards. But I shall repeat what I have said before – it is virtually impossible for anyone to fall from a cruise ship unless they are doing something utterly stupid or unless they do so deliberately.
It’s a statement borne out by a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with one of the world’s leading cruise authors, who told me he receives letters and emails from people who want to know which are the best ships from which to commit suicide.
Apparently they want to be sure that if they throw themselves over a balcony rail, they are going to fall straight into the sea, and not onto another balcony some decks below.
I was shocked at the time, but on consideration, it’s probably a less painful way to go than throwing yourself under a train.

By | 2009-06-16T23:34:23+00:00 16 June 2009|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Joann 18 June 2009 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Thats so hard to believe we have been cruising for years I think most of the time its no accident we have never had a problem except people falling and breaking their hip or they slipped no way can this be an accident

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