A 22 year-old male Royal Caribbean passenger on-board the Independence of the Seas was reported as having intentionally jumped off the ship’s twelfth deck in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 22, 2016. The ship was approximately 33 miles southeast of Key Largo and was heading back to South Florida after a four-night trip.
The ship contacted the U.S. Coast Guard which took over the search of the man by air and sea. After a 38-hour search for the missing man, the Coast Guard suspended the search Friday afternoon.
Just a day after the 22-year-old man was reported missing, news sources reported a 74-year-old British woman on-board the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner was missing and presumed overboard. The ship had left New York Thursday morning and was en route to St. Martin in the Caribbean. The woman was reported missing in the early hours of Friday morning when the ship was around 100 miles south east of Atlantic City in New Jersey. The search for the woman was called off Friday evening.
According to Cruise Junkie, in the 10-year span from 2006 to 2016, 283 people fell overboard from cruise ships. Such a large number certainly raises questions about how many of those falls could have been prevented had appropriate measures been taken by cruise lines including preventative measures to keep inebriated passengers safe and to discourage and/or prevent the over-serving of alcohol.