Overboard: Cruise Ships Lose A Passenger a Month

The safety of passengers on cruise ships is of paramount importance, and incidents of passengers falling overboard are rare but concerning.

Passengers falling overboard from cruise ships represent a rare but highly publicized occurrence in the cruise industry. Statistics on the exact frequency are not always readily available due to the varying nature of these incidents, but it is estimated that one case occurs each month across the global cruise industry. It is important to note that the industry has made significant efforts to reduce the number of overboard incidents in recent years, with the implementation of safety measures and technological advancements.

Reasons for Passengers Falling Overboard:

  1. Accidents and Unintentional Falls:
    Accidents are the primary cause of passengers falling overboard. These accidents may occur due to a range of factors, including tripping, slipping, or stumbling on deck, especially during adverse weather conditions. Alcohol consumption can also contribute to accidents, as impaired balance can lead to unintentional falls overboard.
  2. Deliberate or Reckless Behavior:
    In some cases, passengers deliberately engage in reckless behaviour, such as attempting to climb over railings, participating in high-risk activities, or intentionally jumping off the ship. This kind of behaviour is dangerous and often prohibited by cruise lines.
  3. Suicide or Self-Harm:
    Tragically, a small number of overboard incidents are the result of passengers intentionally taking their own lives. Cruise lines have implemented mental health support systems to address the well-being of passengers and crew.


Cruise lines have taken various steps to minimize the risk of passengers falling overboard:

  1. Enhanced Railings and Barriers: Cruise ships have introduced higher and more secure railings and barriers to prevent passengers from accidentally falling overboard.
  2. Surveillance and Monitoring: Advanced surveillance systems, including cameras and sensors, are utilized to monitor ship perimeters and alert crew members to any unusual or suspicious activity.
  3. Crew Training: Cruise ship personnel are extensively trained in safety and emergency response procedures, including man-overboard drills, to enhance their ability to respond quickly and effectively to such incidents.
  4. Alcohol Policies: Cruise lines have implemented policies to limit alcohol consumption and monitor intoxicated passengers, which can contribute to accidents and reckless behaviour.

Passengers falling overboard from cruise ships represent a rare but concerning occurrence that cruise lines have worked diligently to prevent. With the implementation of improved safety measures, surveillance technology, and crew training, the industry aims to minimize the risks associated with such incidents and ensure the safety of all passengers on board. Additionally, promoting responsible passenger behaviour and addressing mental health issues are ongoing efforts to reduce the number of overboard incidents further.

-Michael Forman (Author of SEETHINGS and SEETHINGS 2)

Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer specialising in taking lightning pictures may be the only witness.


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