A 60-year-old Singaporean male passenger on-board the SuperStar Gemini cruise ship is missing after falling overboard near Babi Besar Island, located off the Malaysian south-east coast. Mr. Wuan Poh Fatt was traveling from Singapore to Penang with five others. According to on-board closed-circuit camera footage, Mr. Wuan fell overboard on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 11:05 p.m. However, it was not discovered that he was missing until the next day when he failed to respond to announcements. After a headcount confirmed he was missing, the ship’s Captain contacted Malaysian authorities who began a search of the area. According to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, search and rescue operations are ongoing.
The SuperStar Gemini is a 1,750 passenger cruise ship operated by Star Cruises, an Asian based cruise line. In October 2015, reports surfaced of a 30-year-old Indian national man who disappeared from the SuperStar Gemini while traveling in the Strait of Malacca. The man was traveling with his extended family and they too did not realize he was missing until the next day. The cruise line claimed the man had committed suicide but the family strongly disputed that allegation instead suggesting he had been the victim of foul play due to a fight he had with one of the ship’s officers.
On average there are 20-30 overboard incidents each year. Although technology exits to alert cruise ships of a passengers falling overboard, not all cruise lines make use of the technology. Additionally, despite heavily promoting alcohol use, cruise ships often have minimal security personnel guarding the ship.
Earlier in the week, multiple news sources circulated video footage of a teenage boy climbing over the railing of the Carnival Liberty. The same cruise ship from which a 33-year-old woman died plunging overboard in May this year. In the video, the boy is seen climbing over the side of the cruise ship and hanging by a rail before climbing back up and being helped onto the ship by other passengers. In a statement, Carnival said it recently became aware of the video and is now investigating.