Cruise passengers helped search for woman who fell overboard on Sunday — and after 45 min she was rescued

Originally published at: Cruise passengers helped search for woman who fell overboard on Sunday — and after 45 min she was rescued | Boing Boing


Having never been on a cruise ship, can someone explain to me how this can happen accidentally?


The requirements for railings are only 1m height, nontrivial amounts of alcohol are typically on board; and it is suspected that not all overboardings are accidental, with some combination of intentional and malicious ones in the mix.


For reference, here in the US the minimum height for a “guard” (a rail to prevent fall injury) is 42 inches (106.7 cm). The “only” in the quote above I take to mean that it’s below-standard, thus more likely for people to fall over. Given that this happened proximate to the US and, I’m assuming, would be likely to have more US residents aboard than, say, a Med cruise, then I suspect the likelihood of overbalancing to be higher because of the rail height people are accustomed to.


But aren’t cruise ships mostly registered in other countries so they aren’t constrained by numerous US laws and regulations?

1 Like

NAAL (Not An Admiralty Lawyer, or any other type) but I believe you’re correct. Not that our laws and regulations are particularly “numerous”, at least compared to other nations in the global north. But, yeah, they register in such places to avoid legal liability on all sort of fronts.

1 Like

It doesn’t. It takes personal willful negligence to go over a railing under most situations, even on land.
(unless you are Russian and pissed off Putin, then falling to your death is certainly on a bingo card).

1 Like

I wonder if each passenger can wear a bracelet with dye and shark deterrent that dissolve with salt water to help with this type of situation. Is it too rare?

There is no point registering a cruise ship in the US, because the Jones Act says that to operate on internal US routes, ships not only have to be US-flagged and crewed by majority US citizens, but also have to be built in the US.

This is mostly to protect the US merchant marine and shipbuilding industry for reasons of national security.

The thing is, there are no yards in the US that build ocean-going cruise ships. So the companies ensure that every cruise has at least one stop outside the US, making it an international voyage on which they can use foreign-registered ships. The terms of your ticket say that if you leave the ship before you reach the foreign port, you’re on the hook for the company’s fine for the Jones Act violation.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.