Passenger Overboard on Grand Princess Cruise Ship Off Hawaii

Image: Passenger Overboard on Grand Princess Cruise Ship Off Hawaii

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 07:03 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A passenger went overboard on the Grand Princess cruise ship Wednesday in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii. The 54-year-old woman is missing.

The woman, whose name was not released, had apparently intentionally gone overboard according to witnesses. The cruise line, Princess Cruises, later confirmed the accounts via closed-circuit television cameras at the scene, CNN reported.

In their attempt to recover the overboard passenger, the Grand Princess cruise ship changed its course and initiated its own search some 650 miles northeast of Hawaii's Big Island – Hilo, Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson told CBS News.

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The U.S. Coast Guard immediately joined the search for the missing passenger, deploying an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to the area. The woman, however, has yet to be found.

According to Benson, the Grand Princess cruise ship is a 1,300-cabin vessel that was three days into a 15-day round trip cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii. Nearly 950 feet long and nearly 190 feet tall, the Grand Princess has 17 decks and was built in 1998 in Monfalcone, Italy, for $450 million.

Since 2000 nearly 200 people have died after having fallen overboard on cruise ships, the International Business Times reported.

Of course, falling overboard is not always a death sentence.

In April, 50-year-old Brett Archibald of Camps Bay, South Africa survived a 27 hour ordeal on the high seas after reportedly getting sick and accidently falling overboard without a lifejacket.

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Archibald was not noticed missing by his family until he didn't show up the next morning for breakfast. He was eventually found 11 miles from where he initially disappeared, after having been stung by jelly fish, nibbled on by random fish, and pecked at by seagulls.

In May, an Australian couple from the state of New South Wales fell overboard at the end of a 10-day Carnival Cruise ship journey around Australia.

First responders eventually called off the search for the 30-year-old man and his 26-year-old girlfriend.

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