The Nov. 17 article, Overboard cases on cruise lines often under-reported to public, leaves readers with a distorted view of the occurrence and reporting of man overboard incidents. It is very rare for cruise passengers to go overboard. Those that do occur almost always result from either intentional jumping or irresponsible behavior.
Cruise lines must follow strict and comprehensive regulations regarding overboard incidents. Cases of a passenger going overboard involving a United States citizen must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard. Cases that are suspicious in nature or may appear to involve foul play or where the passenger remains missing, must also be reported to the FBI.
Although regulations to implement the legal requirements for systems “capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard” have yet to be published, the cruise industry continues to work collaboratively with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide input and information on such technologies. CLIA members also continue to evaluate, test and conduct trials to identify systems that will work best in a marine environment.
Cruising remains one of the safest, most enjoyable vacation experiences for millions of people.
Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association, Arlington, VA