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Man Overboard: Passenger Disappearances on Cruise Ships Increase

The recent disappearance of several cruise ship passengers is a stark reminder of the dangers associated with cruises. The Cruise Passenger Protection Act was introduced in Congress in 2017 but has not been enacted, and disappearances are still occurring. Cruise line personnel and families of loved ones who go overboard or go missing sometimes disagree on the causes. Some cases even reportedly involve possible cover-up by cruise line personnel.

Since the year 2000, nearly 300 people have gone overboard. Here are a few examples:

  • The Miami Herald reported on the disappearance of a 22-year-old special needs passenger aboard the Carnival Cruise Line’s Fantasy ship in December 2018. He was the fourth cruise line passenger to disappear within a month.
  • Ranker reported on the December 14, 2018 disappearance of an unnamed 26-year-old man who fell off the side of the Carnival Victory cruise ship. Search efforts proved futile and the ship continued on its way.
  • When a British woman fell off a cruise ship in the Adriatic Sea, her yoga expertise, which helped her stay fit, possibly helped her stay alive until rescuers pulled her from the water 10 hours later.
  • Engaged couple Kristin Schroder and Paul Rossington were aboard the Carnival Spirit in 2013. When Kristin climbed over a balcony and fell into the Tasman Sea, Rossington jumped overboard to save her. Both died in the incident.

A website called Cruise Ship Deaths was even created to monitor overboard instances.

Safety Tips

When taking a cruise, follow these tips to stay safe aboard cruise ships:

  • Drink alcohol responsibly
  • Buddy-up
  • Practice in-cabin safety
  • Do not accept invitation to the crew quarters
  • Be careful on balconies
  • Get to know your steward
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash
  • Use your safe
  • Pay attention during the muster drill

If your loved one suffered injury or death while on a cruise ship, Attorney John Leighton can help. View our list of cruise ship verdicts and settlements.