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  • Do cruise ships turn around if a passenger falls overboard?
    Want Answers4
    Jim Walker
    Jim Walker, Maritime lawyer, cruise safety advoca… (more)
    3 upvotes by Quora User, Dave Calhoun, and Amit Boora.

    Cruise lines have a legal obligation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Coast Guard regulations to immediately undertake search and rescue operations when a passenger is observed going overboard. Cruise ship masters, like all captains, are experienced in performing a “Williamson turn” to bring the ship under power promptly back to the point where the person went overboard.

    Under the 2010 Vessel Safety and Security Act (CVSSA), cruise lines are required to install automatic man overboard system to detect when passengers go overboard. There are currently sophisticated systems which incorporate radar, motion detection and thermal imaging systems which detect when someone goes overboard, capture the image of the person and immediately send a signal to the bridge. This is important technology to utilize because cruise ships are increasing in size and capacity, with as many as 8,000 people on a single ship.

    Unfortunately, very few cruise lines utilize the existing technology, citing the costs of the systems and their alleged unreliability as excuses. The result is that if the overboard person is not visibly detected by the crew, the ship will sail on. Even if the person is seen going overboard, some cruise lines insist on checking whether anyone is actually missing on the ship. This can takes hours. The ship will continue to sail away, making the eventual search very difficult. Sometimes the ship is so far away from the original location that the master decides not to turn the ship around. Instead, the ship will summons the Coast Guard which will be required to deploy search vessels and aircraft to search vast distances of the ocean. The prospects of a successful rescue then become quite slim.

    A cruise expert in Canada, Dr. Ross Klein, has data indicating that 245 people have fallen, jumped or been thrown overboard from cruise ships since 2000.


  • Dear Viewers and members
    We have had a couple of sad cases where family’s have been to late to take Shipping Company to court. Firstly you have to register within 12 months, this then starts the 3 year Statue of Limitations, which applies under US Maritime Law.
    This is also the case in the UK and majority of Maritime nations and Flag state.
    Roughly it gives 3 years to prepare your case. But sadly if not dealt with a case can not be brought forward, so it is essential to remember this.

    Bill Anderson

  • Interview on BBC ,regarding missing crew member, Rebecca Coriam.


  • Hi Mike
    What we have is a very complex industry going back 100s of years , and legislation needs changing, in a nutshell its simply called corporate greed. We had welcoming legislation which was passed the Freedom of information Acts ( FOIAs) however there are still certain clauses which stop you getting full access to information requested.
    We have used FOIAs to receive information from the UKs Maritime Accident investigation Branch (MAIB) under Dept Transport, and in contact with PM Cameron & President Obama, and MPS.
    And also the FCO as these cases we are dealing with are British nationals.
    Flag State’s have to be informed with in 24 hrs. of a serious incident, a death/serious accident/sexual assaults/ murder/MOBs/Theft over $10,000. Yet the vessels tend to undertake there own investigations, this is a conflict of interest from the offset, as the company pays the wages of the shipboard security, also during investigation it has been know that the company have stood them down to await for a Flag State police detective to arrive, as we are aware in a investigation the first 24 hrs is critical, yet it can take days for the inspector to arrive , this is also a conflict of interest as the company pays into the Flag State, we have an incident that a company sent a private jet to the Flag State and picked up a police detective and flew him to the vessels next port, this was 1,000s of mls away.
    we have a case were we discovered the Mexican police was involved , we are awaiting information from FCO 3 years !!!.
    We have a case of report from Flag State goes to the FCO and passed on to local police force, they inform us the report is a shambles yet they can not disclose to us and family the contents even under the FOIAs !!!!!
    There is no independent Police force with powers of arrest on these vessel’s , to which we now have vessels with upto 9,000 passengers and crew, a small town !!!!!
    Also there is no mandatory legislation that they have to report incidents to the public, and official bodies seemed to be gagged. Also most of the press and media are owned or run by the ship-owners.

    If you look at the way MoBs are nearly always reported, Suicide ( an expensive way to end your life) , the next He/She was drunk( bars open to long) then the weather, washed overboard by a freak wave !!!!!

    I can not disclose to much more as we are involved with cases involving UK residents.

    To give members a bigger picture which you will find very distressing to say the least!!!! click on to our link to cruisejunkie.

    Regards Bill


  • I am interested to know why the media are not publishing details of the 5 missing people who have gone overboard.
    Who is collating details of these missing persons and co-coordinating investigations.
    Are these incidents an issue for safety legislation or are they a matter of a criminal nature???

    Michael Fryer

  • Navy looks to BriarTek to provide man-overboard warning systems for surface ship fleet
    January 14, 2014
    By John Keller

    PHILADELPHIA, 14 Jan. 2014. U.S. Navy shipboard safety experts needed automatic warning systems to alert authorities if sailors fall overboard during operations aboard Navy surface warships. They found their solution from BriarTek Inc. in Alexandria, Va.

    Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division are awarding an $8.1 million contract to BriarTek for the Man-Overboard Indicator (MOBI) Ship Installation Support System. The contract, awarded late last week, is from Carderock’s Ship System Engineering Station in Philadelphia.
    Related: Navy pushing bridge-combat systems integration for new surface warships

    The MOBI system consists of BriarTek’s ORCA transmitters, receivers, and direction finders, and enables the immediate, rapid recovery of a sailor or marine who has fallen overboard. The Navy’s MOBI program seeks to outfit each ship with a system that alerts the crew to a man-overboard event, so the crew can start a search and rescue as quickly as possible.
    Each ship crew member working in areas where he risks falling overboard wears a special safety vest that includes an ORCA man-overboard transmitter.

    Related: Malaysian Air Force, Navy to use SARBE personal locator beacons
    After being fully immersed for 3-5 seconds, the water-activated ORCA transmitters immediately begin transmitting radio signals back to the ship that a crew member is in the water. At the same time the radio transmitter is activated, the strobe light is activated as well providing a visual marker to the survivor.

    ORCA receivers aboard the bridges of surface ships receive signals from activated ORCA transmitters. Receivers announce man-overboard events by audible alarms that a survivor is in the water and in need of recovery.
    Related: Digital Angel Corp. acquires McMurdo Marine Electronics, maker of military emergency location beacons

    ORCA receivers display the name of the sailor who has fallen from the ship, and the ship from which he or she fell. Even if the person in the water is not from that particular ship, if the victim is in range of the signal, the ORCA receiver sounds tone that someone has fallen off a ship nearby.

    ORCA direction finders provides relative bearing to the survivor in the water in real-time, transmitting on an emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz. Ships and currents moving in opposite direction can put a lot of space between survivor and ship in a short amount of time, BriarTek officials say.
    Related: Cobham awarded five year contract by US Coast Guard for up to 5,000 ACR personal locator beacons

    Navy officials awarded the MOBI contract to BriarTek sole-source because the company is the only responsible source for man-overboard alerting equipment for Navy ships, Navy officials say.
    On this contract BriarTek will do the work at various ship home ports within and outside the continental U.S., and should be finished by early 2019.

    For more information contact BriarTek online at, or the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Philadelphia at


  • It is with sadness that we report in the last 18 days 5 people have gone overboard from cruise ships. Please take time to , pause, reflect and show respect for the deceased, and their families. RIP.

    Bill Anderson, MNM. Mike Coriam.
    Maritime Investigator. Research Officer.


  • In regards to petitions for cameras to be put on ferries:

    There is equipment called Mobtronic, this is linked to the ships bridge, looking like a spare radar , this equipment can distinguish between a bag of rubbish being jettisoned, a large seabird ( in tropics) and a human being , once an MOB had been detected an alarm goes off on Ships Bridge , not only that I am led to believe that it automatically starts plotting, also give’s sea state and drift. Now if we look at it logistically it will save company money in regards to savings on fuel by not having to do a sea search in regards to false alarm, should then be able to remain on course and no alteration in the ETAs.

    Further more in regards to security it notifies the ships Bridge when the ship has been boarded ( Pirates zones) yet we have been talking to the wall , the IMO/ILO should make this mandatory , this should go through the courts in all maritime nations , with no input from the Shipowners as we are aware of there political donations, at the same time on the agenda should be flag states/ International waters were a multitude of sins go bye, and not a flicker .

    Also an independent Police force with powers of arrest, we are looking at floating towns with lots of Bars and casinos on the largest ships we have upto 9,000 passengers and crew, also we now have ships resembling tower blocks (skyscrapers) my opinion they have over stepped the Mark , I heard one that they can be evacuated in half an hour, I can not believe this, if we look at the costa Concordia we just missed a massif fatality , if the vessel was not turned and run aground , and if she was in the shipping lane (deep water ) god forbid .. ….. These are just some of the points we need your support…….

    Regards Bill Anderson MNM.


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