Just Updated: Tragic Death + Visitor Overboard On Hawaii Cruise

Updated: Passengers reported being awakened by calls of Oscar, Oscar, Oscar over the ship’s public address system, which is the codename for “man overboard.”

The search for the lost man continues today after being suspended overnight while the U.S. Coast Guard refueled its aircraft based at Barber’s Point Hawaii.

No link to a passenger who died during entertainment onboard the cruise ship.

Australian media has this morning reported that while the overboard did occur soon after a woman died on the ship, they believe that the two incidents are not related and that the two persons involved did not even know each other.

The person who is reported to have died just prior.

In sad and bizarre circumstances, the missing man was previously said to be the partner of another passenger who died during an onboard medical emergency. The passenger death onboard occurred during a show in one of the ship’s lounges. The performance was stopped when it was announced that there was a fatal medical emergency. It was shortly thereafter that the passenger overboard alarm was sounded.

Visitor Overboard On Hawaii Cruise

After initially halting sail and dispatching tenders and searchlights unsuccessfully, the ship is once again en route to Hawaii, while a Hercules C-130 aircraft similar to the one pictured above has been deployed to help locate the passenger who disappeared sometime between 11 pm Tuesday and 1 am Wednesday.

Royal Caribbean confirmed the incident, saying, “While on its trans-pacific sailing, a guest onboard Quantum of the Seas went overboard. The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and is working closely with local authorities.”

The Royal Caribbean Hawaii cruise.

The seventeen-day cruise to Hawaii began in Australia on April 12 with 16 nights en route from Brisbane, via two stops in French Polynesia. It is en route to the tender dock in Kona on the Big Island, followed by mooring in Honolulu harbor. The Quantum of the Seas is a 9-year-old ship that accommodates nearly 5,000 passengers.

Cruise ship passenger overboard events.

In the event a passenger goes overboard on a cruise, typically, the following protocol would be implemented:

First, the crew notifies the bridge, initiating a man-overboard protocol. The location and time of the incident are noted, after which a visual search is conducted in the area where the passenger was last seen. The ship repositions as necessary to return to the area. The captain determines the search initiation procedure and contacts authorities. Life rafts and rescue boats are deployed. The next of kin are notified and kept advised of search efforts.

Do passengers usually fall off cruise ships? No, they do not. Ships are built with railings high enough that either events like this are typically intentional or involve climbing onto railings or something else. Suicide at sea is something that also occurs.

In total, there may be up to 20 such events each year. These are sometimes related to alcohol or domestic disturbances.

Some people do survive overboard situations. On average, however, about 80% are never rescued alive. It isn’t clear what the wind and water conditions were at the place where the event took place nearly due south of Hawaii.

A criminal investigation is likely underway, as is typical of such cases, and the FBI gets involved when it relates to a U.S. citizen. In this case, the missing person is Australian.


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8 thoughts on “Just Updated: Tragic Death + Visitor Overboard On Hawaii Cruise”

  1. Hi guys,
    What a strange and terrifically sad story. May they rest in peace. However, I can’t help but think of White Lotus…

  2. Aloha Guys – what a tragic and sad event for the family and friends of the two deceased. May they rest in peace.

    Thank you, once again, for bringing us another intriguing story. I wonder what the investigation into their deaths will reveal? Agatha Christie, indeed!

  3. Update from news.com.au
    “ There reports early on Thursday that the missing man was the partner of someone who died on the ship following a medical emergency.

    However, news.com.au has confirmed that the medical emergency and the man going overboard were two isolated incidents — and the the pair were not known to each other.

    A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said: “Out of respect for the family, we will not share further details about this unfortunate event.”

  4. My aunts partner of 25 years died of cancer. 6 months later my aunt shot herself in the head. She sent a letter to the police as to where she was, garage. Everything in the house had post it notes, saying who got what.This was well planned. They had a pact that if one goes, the other joins them. We had no idea. Grief is overwhelming.

  5. Aloha Rob,+Jeff. Well!!! Another interesting story with unusual circumstances. This will definitely be one to follow up on. Nevertheless, very tragic and unfortunate for the rest of the passengers and crew on board. Talk about a strange occurrence to happen. A vacation that the travellers won’t soon forget. Wonder if there is any compensation for them. It did after all upset their long awaited dream cruise. Let us know what happens with this one. Mahalo and take good care of yourselves.

    1. Hi Deb.

      Thanks. We appreciate your input here and on so many articles. This is a sad and strange story.


    2. I doubt Royal Caribbean would compensate those indirectly affected by the event. We took an RC cruise and our cabin flooded when the toilet seal malfunctioned, but they had no available rooms to move us to, so we had to stay in the room while they dried the carpet out for the next two days using a loud fan and keeping our cabin door open, and the only compensation they gave us was a 50% off voucher if we booked another cruise within a year. Meager compensation for being directly affected by an event, so we declined to take anymore cruises with RC.

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