What Happens When Someone Falls into the Sea from a Cruise

Cases are almost always considered the unfortunate result of intentional or reckless acts

The normal thing is that if you go on a pleasure cruise, the chances of you falling to the sea from the boat are minimal. It is more likely to happen than a plane crash, but they are still very few. However, in the hypothetical case, what happens from the moment you fall overboard?

Fortunately, the annual number of incidents of this type is very low, but it sometimes happens. According to the statistics of the specialized website CruiseJunkie.com, which documents (among other things) the drops in cruises, there were 27 cases worldwide in 2015, 16 in 2016, and 13 in 2017. Taking into account that more than 20 million passengers took one of these boats last year, it is not an epidemic.

For the founder of CruiseJunkie.com and Professor of the University of Newfoundland Memorial Ross Klein, although the numbers are tiny, should not be ruled out. For Klein, the first thing that needs to be clarified is the word “fall”:

I think the word ‘fall’ is an inappropriate name. People do not usually fall overboard. Some may jump (there is a proportion of cases known to be suicides) and some are pushed or thrown overboard.

In this regard, the vice president of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Michael McGarry, told CNTraveler that “cases are almost always considered the unfortunate result of intentional or reckless acts. In fact, the irresponsible behavior caused by alcohol poisoning is the most common culprit, although in other cases the circumstances are simply unknown. ”

In any case, once someone has fallen and has been part of it, the cruisers activate an established emergency protocol (following the recommendations of the International Maritime Association), although the procedures depend on whether the fall was witnessed or discovered after the fact.

If the first case occurs, the bridge is notified, the emergency team is assembled and lifeguards are thrown to mark the place where the person fell. The ship is repositioned to return to the point of the incident, while preparing a lifeboat. At this point you can ask, depending on the area where it occurred, external search and rescue assistance that may include other vessels in the area, while the Coast Guard and other local authorities can send planes or helicopters to help explore the waters.

In all cases, time is essential. If the fall or jump has not been seen (which happens more frequently), there is less chance of the rescue being successful, leaving in these cases that the cruise lines depend on the revision of the images of the circuit cameras closed they have. However, there is no pre-established limit for the duration of the search, although in general, while there is hope, the search continues.

As for the chances of survival, evidently, they are few according to the statistics themselves. It is estimated that 85 to 90% end in death. The marine survival expert, Mike Tipton, and professor at the University of Portsmouth, points out that there are variables such as the height of the fall (which could cause a trauma when hitting a part of the boat), the temperature of the ocean, and the state of the sea ​​and weather conditions (including visibility).

All together, the probability of survival rises or falls, along with the response time of the rescue team and the mental state and the swimming capacity of the passenger.

What Happens When Someone Falls into the Sea from a Cruise Ship

Most deaths are due to responses

physiological to icy sea water, including what is known as “cold shock” and the resulting physical disability during the first minutes of hitting the body in the water. Obviously, together with the possibility of hypothermia.

“The best thing you can do in the first few minutes of immersion is to try to rest, relax, and float,” says Tipton, suggesting that restricting movement and conserving energy is the best strategy to increase your chances of survival.

Source: La Tarde