- Outboard systems on cruise ships are intended to reduce response time and notify crew when someone has gone overboard.
- Not all cruise ships have the system yet, but some do.
- Passengers rarely go overboard by accident, according to one industry expert.
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Sherry Boleyn got up early to watch the sunrise with her A family on a Thanksgiving cruise to Mexico. But when she arrived at her brother’s cabin on Carnival’s Barror on her cruise her line Carnival around 6:00 a.m., her sister-in-law informed her brother James Michael that her Grimes was in the room. Said he didn’t come back.
The family was on board with about 20 relatives, so I suspected that Boleyn was sleeping in one of their rooms. “He’s famous for falling asleep anywhere, anytime,” Boleyn, 31, of Fort Benning, Ga., told his USA TODAY. I thought, ‘I’m just sleeping in there.'”
After searching around the ship for him to no avail, she notified the cruise line, which began an hours-long search that ended with the U.S. Coast Guard, she said. 29-year-old Grimes rescued from water around 8:30 p.m. that day, after he went overboard.
James Michael Grimes is about 20 hours Stranded at sea.
Found about 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, Grimes told People magazine In December, he recalled having a drink and winning an air guitar competition before waking up in the water.
The incident ended with his safe return to shore, but questions were raised about the cruise ship’s overboard detection system. Go overboard.
Carnival spokesperson Matt Lupoli told USA TODAY in an email that as soon as the line was notified, “Carnival Valor’s crew immediately searched the ship, traced the ship’s route, and directed the U.S. Coast Guard’s presence. I coordinated with the staff,” he said.
“During the search, another crew member found Mr. Grimes at sea, contacted the USCG, and a rescue was made,” he said. We are still very grateful.”
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What is an overboard detection system for cruise ships?
of Cruise Ship Safety and Security Act 2010 Passenger ships operating in the United States are required to “integrate technology that can be used to capture images of passengers and detect passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent such technology is available.” doing.
According to Brian Salerno, senior vice president of global maritime policy at Cruise Lines International Association, an industry-leading trade group, when the law was passed there was no product that could reliably detect passengers going overboard. , the cruise company was given the option.
“The problem was getting the technology right so that we didn’t get false alarms every time the seagulls flew by the ship,” he said. “It’s human nature. If alarms are ringing constantly, they become less and less important.”
Since then, multiple companies have worked to develop more reliable technology. CLIA and its member lines collaborated with the International Organization for Standardization to develop the standard.
The standard was finalized around the time the COVID-19 pandemic began, Salerno said, delaying the process, but some ships are employing detection systems.
Boleyn said security guards on board the Carnival Valor said there was camera footage of the bar where his brother was last seen, but because it was an older ship, there were no cameras anywhere. bottom.
Lupoli said the camera “may not be 100% visible” in certain locations on the ship. “I know he left the bar on Deck 3. Then we found his clothes and wallet on Deck 6,” he said.
In addition to surveillance cameras, all ships have “safety barriers regulated to U.S. Coast Guard standards to prevent guests from falling,” Lupoli said.
How does the overboard detection system work?
Technology company MARSS’s MOBtronic system is one of them. I developed a system for cruises.
According to CEO Johannes Pinl, the product, which can use thermal cameras and micro-radars to detect when someone has gone overboard and alert the crew, along with other features, is one cruise line installed on a “significant number” of ships, including the entire fleet of , although he was unable to name a particular line.
He said he expects the system to be certified according to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards in the first half of 2023.
Salerno said the certification will give cruise lines more confidence in spending money on overboard detection technology. For that part, MOBtronic starts at around $200,000, Pinl said. Typically 4 to 12 sensor stations are mounted outside the ship, depending on the size and design of the ship.
“Overall, given the cost of cruise ships … these investments are small,” he said.
How many cruise ships have overboard detection systems?
Salerno declined to name specific strains, but said many ships have detection technology on board. “I think we will start to see more and more detection equipment once the certification process is complete,” he said.
He said he expects at least one manufacturer to be certified according to the ISO standard this year.
- Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and MSC Cruises did not respond to USA TODAY’s inquiries about whether they have systems on board their ships, and referred inquiries to CLIA.
- Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises did not respond to USA TODAY’s question about whether they have implemented the technology.
- A Disney Cruise Line spokesperson confirmed the technology is available on the company’s ships, but declined to provide further details.
How many people go overboard on a cruise ship?
Between 2009 and 2019, there were 212 overboard accidents involving passengers and crew worldwide, according to the company. Statistics compiled for CLIA By consulting firm GP Wild (International) Limited. Only 48 people were rescued.
“I’d like to emphasize that people don’t just fall on their sides,” Salerno said.
CVSSA requires passenger ships to have rails “not less than 42 inches above the cabin deck”. Many cruise ships complied with the law even before it was enacted, according to Commander Jason Kring, detachment chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Center for Cruise Ship Specialization.
Why do people go overboard on cruise ships?
Michael Winkleman, a Lipcon, Pennsylvania, maritime attorney who has represented travelers in overboard incidents, said alcohol could contribute to overboard incidents. “Most of the time, they just don’t make wise decisions because they get dramatically over-served and end up going too far,” he said.
Winkleman said cruise lines have procedures in place to prevent passengers from over-serving, but if a passenger believes the cruise line helped them go overboard, they could file a lawsuit. Most lawsuits of this type are resolved in a confidential settlement.
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“My advice, I think, applies to cruising in general, don’t leave common sense in port,” he said.
Whatever the cause, Salerno said the overboard detection system is intended to increase the likelihood of a positive result. “Clearly the sooner the search is started, the better the chances of recovery,” he said.
She believes an overboard detection system may have helped the crew in their search for Boline’s brother.