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Man Overboard Carnival Cruise Liner Rescued By Disney

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, September 03, 2009 3:33 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Cruise Industry, Cruise Liners, Carnival, Holland America, Overboard

Carnival Sensation loses a passenger off the coast of Florida, Disney liner picks him up.


IMAGE SOURCE: WPTV- TV, West Palm Beach Web Site/ Carnival Sensation

Did He Fall?

A Disney cruise ship came to the rescue of a man who fell overboard from a Carnival ship in the Atlantic off the coast of south Florida early Thursday morning.

The Disney Wonder came close enough to the man, about 30 miles off Port St. Lucie, that it was able to rescue him around 12:45 a.m.

The ship was responding to a notification from the Coast Guard and the Carnival Sensation that the 34-year-old man had gone overboard. The Disney Wonder was in the area and joined a U.S. Coast Guard search.

Late this afternoon*- The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office now says it believes the man jumped overboard intentionally, reports Fox in Orlando. The story does not go on to elaborate other than to say he was hospitalized for minor back injuries and will receive a mental examination.

The man was reported to be “physically exhausted" after treading water for about an hour and a half before being brought to the hospital.

Disney "spokeswoman Rena Langley tells USA Today, “We're incredibly proud of our crew members who were able to locate the individual in distress and bring him safely aboard the Disney Wonder.”

Both of the ships were on their way back to Port Canaveral after a Bahamas cruise.

In a statement Carnival said, “Carnival wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation to the officers and crew of the Disney Wonder, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, for their assistance.”

Passenger, BigHeadDennis, as he is known in his Twitter profile, tweeted he could hear the Carnival passenger screaming in the water.

Overboards in 2009

Ross Klein, a professor of social work at Memorial University of Newfoundland, follows the cruise industry and runs the Cruise Junkie Web site. He reports that in 2009, Carnival has had eight people overboard, topping the list as the cruise line with the most passengers and crew overboard, not only this year but with 38 since 2000.

The cruise industry does not have to report crimes and accidents to one central authority, so it’s difficult to know how many people actually go overboard, though it’s a small percentage of people who take a cruise.

Douglas Ward, a cruise expert who has reviewed the industry for 43 years, tells ABC News most people go overboard after a bout of heavy drinking.

"There's been a lot more binge drinking than I've seen in the past," he said.

In 2008, about 16.8 million people took cruises, more than 11 million of them Americans, Ward said. That's up from about 9.4 million cruise passengers in 1999 and 500,000 in 1970.

The case of Jennifer Ellis Seitz, 36 of Florida who went over the balcony of a Norwegian Pearl cruise ship Christmas night 2008 is still not solved. The family believed she may have jumped.

“Overboards always seem to me to be from the larger ships,” Ward said.

Cruise Ship Hazards

Ken Carver founded International Cruise Victims, an advocacy and support group for cruise crime and accident victims and their families, after his daughter Merrian Carver disappeared during an August 2004 cruise to Alaska aboard the Celebrity Mercury.

Fire, muggings, sexual assaults, and murder onboard cruise ships are the focus of the Web site Cruise Bruise, which reports on, “The other side to life aboard ship.”

Last June, IB News reported on the death at sea of Don Bryce who was sickened at sea and waited for the ship doctor, calling him four times. The doctor showed up after Don died. Jerry McGill, IB partner from Pensacola, Florida says look at the fine print of paragraph 4C of your cruise contract. It lets the cruise line off the hook for any liability since it states the doctor is an independent contractor.

Consumers cannot sue for emotional distress, IB News reported last June. That’s in the contract too. #


Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, September 03, 2009 10:02 PM EST

Aly Bello-Cabreriza, Public Relations for Carnival tells IB News that the higher number of overboards is due to the fact that the cruise line carries more passengers. She writes-

Jane: In terms of your inquiry regarding the high number of people overboard, we carry substantially more passengers than any other cruise line. If you calculate it on a per 1,000 passenger basis, you would not find that it is higher than other lines. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, September 03, 2009 10:05 PM EST

Late Add tonight- Most media is reporting that the passenger, still unidentified, was having an argument with a woman on the final night of a four-day tour. He threatened to jump and she said, "Go Ahead" and he did.

This is according to a witnesses onboard, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Anonymous User
Posted by molly
Saturday, September 05, 2009 3:17 PM EST

i was on the disnaey wonder when this happend and was next t othe guy who hear him screaming! i was in the teen club aloft when someone came in a yelled man overboard! we all watched while he boardes to disney wonder!! it was so crazyyy:)

Anonymous User
Posted by eaton53
Monday, September 07, 2009 5:34 PM EST

Cruisejunkie.com keeps track of this sort of thing... and it's not that uncommon. They show 123 overboards since 1995.

From time to time we find that booze and railings just do not mix. Only question: Did they jump or just get drunk and fall over the side?

Anonymous User
Posted by jacob
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 12:16 AM EST

this question is addressed to molly or anyone who saw the guy who was rescued by disney wonder. could u elaborate on his looks. for example, to begin with, what was his skin color. i happen to know a person who might have been in this situation. i dont mean to pry in any way but this person is pretty dear to me and i dont have any means of contacting him.pls lemme know asap. thanks

Comments for this article are closed.

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