Concern rising for 'man overboard' on cruise ships -


Concern rising for 'man overboard' on cruise ships

The cruise ship industry promises a vacation of a lifetime where every day is perfect and the party never stops. But for some, cruising can end in tragedy. 

Testimony in a recent senate committee hearing expressed concern on the number of people going overboard. So, before you set sail, you need to know the facts to keep you and your family safe.

On a perfect afternoon this cruise ship full of passengers sets sail for a dream vacation. But the president of the ICV, International Cruise Victims, says there are some harsh realities you need to be aware of before you go.

Man overboard incidences we have discovered occur one almost every two weeks.

Passengers like Rebecca Coriam, Jason Rappe, Andrew Gready, Ariel Marion, Lynsay O'Brien, Hue Pham and Hue Tran and many more have never returned from their cruise.

The ICV is a non-profit founded by family and friends who have lost loved ones at sea. Jamie Barnett claims it's happening more now than ever.

"We feel like it's our mission to tell people to be aware And when you factor in the alcohol and the types of things that causes like people wanting to crawl from one balcony to the next and slipping and falling or people getting ill and leaning over to be sick we know two people who have done that. I know of personally," says Jamie.

Randy Jaques ran security on a ship for years and now he's a maritime safety consultant.

"I cannot think of one instance or one case that I've done where it has not involved alcohol," says Jaques.

"I have a case that I'm investigating where a young woman intoxicated was sitting on her balcony and she went overboard she was in the ocean for about 12 hours her friend went running around the ship trying to convince people she had gone overboard nobody would believe her because they felt her friend was intoxicated too. So Finally the ship did a 180 and found her in the water treading in the water," says Jaques.

Testimony in a recent U.S. Senate sub- committee on cruise industry oversight not only sited ship wrecks but also spotlighted the rising number of man over boards – quoting from expert testimony at that hearing-- "The number of people going overboard from cruise ships is significant."

"And I hear people say oh you can't fall overboard accidentally over the railing and I am here to tell you can and you go to those parents and tell them it can't happen," says Jaques.

The Industry Trade Association Cruise Lines International rebutted those claims in this statement "To the contrary, data that is available to the public clearly shows that the incidence of persons going overboard is uncommon."

"I'm not saying don't go, I'm just saying be aware there are some things you should know before you go," says Jaques.

Jaques' tips:

  • Don't sit on the balcony railings to get that perfect picture. 
  • Be careful about how much you and your friends drink. 
  • And always use the buddy system. 

There is technology available for cruise ships to alert the captain if a person has gone overboard. But not all ships are equipped with that technology.

Copyright 2014 America Now. All rights reserved.

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