A passenger sailing on Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas ship went overboard early Wednesday morning. The incident happened during a trans-Pacific sailing that departed from Brisbane, Australia on April 12, according to the cruise line.
“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and is working closely with local authorities,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.
Quantum of the Seas, which debuted in 2014 and can accommodate more than 4,900 guests, is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii on Friday.
The incident comes after other overboard incidents in recent months. A woman died after going overboard on MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia ship near Florida’s Port Canaveral in December, and a Carnival Cruise Line passenger was rescued in November after he went overboard on the line’s Carnival Valor vessel.
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Between 2009 and 2019, there were 212 overboard incidents around the world involving passengers and crew, according to statistics compiled for Cruise Lines International Association by consulting firm G.P. Wild (International) Limited. Only 48 people were rescued.
Cruise ships have safeguards to prevent passengers from going overboard, and are required by the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 to have rails that are “located not less than 42 inches above the cabin deck.”
Cmdr. Jason Kling, Detachment Chief at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise, which conducts compliance inspections of cruise ships embarking passengers in U.S. ports or embarking U.S. passengers, told USA TODAY in March that many cruise ships complied with that even before the law was enacted.
Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at email@example.com.