The Source for Maritime Legal Information

Man Goes Overboard The Sapphire Princess

Thumbnail image for Princess Sapphire.jpgPhoto credit: Cruize Cast
Last week, a Cruise Critic blog posting reported a man went overboard a Princess Cruise Line vessel, the Sapphire. The young man allegedly dove from one of the Sapphire’s decks, perhaps the highest deck–14. Per the post, the captain announced “man overboard” and others threw life jackets in order to mark the area where the man made impact with the water. The cruise ship was turned and rigid inflatable boats equipped with search lights were deployed. The man was found alive.

The reason behind the man going overboard is still unclear. While it was reported that the man intended to dive overboard, it is not known if this was an attempted suicide. Princess Cruises has yet to issue a statement regarding this alarming but all too common occurrence. Back in May 2013, the International Business Times featured an article on “How Many Cruise Ship Passengers Go Overboard Each Year?” and noted the findings of Dr. Ross Klein of CruiseJunkie.com. According to Dr. Klein, who has testified before Congress on a number of occasions and authored books like “Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry,” there were 23 passenger overboard incidents in 2012 alone. Furthermore, per Mr. Klein’s alleged statistics, he claims that nearly half of all overboard incidents since 2000, or 94 out of 200, have occurred on Carnival ships or corporate subsidiaries such as Costa, Cunard, P&O, Princess and Holland America.

Thus, it is important to exercise an abundance of caution when onboard cruise ships, especially when near railing areas or looking overboard decks. While the man featured in this blog post miraculously survived, many others have not been as fortunate.