May 12, 2003
A passenger on Carnival Conquest went overboard early Sunday morning as the ship was approaching Gulfport. According to sources, the Alabama man's fall occurred off a tenth floor verandah; his wife and another passenger were witnesses and immediately reported the incident. Crew and officers on the ship, about 40 minutes out of Gulfport on its way back from a seven day cruise, immediately went into "man overboard" emergency procedural response and launched a "search and rescue" boat (basically a tender with special equipment for this kind of emergency) off of Conquest. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard and other public authorities sent out search teams -- via helicopter and boat. The man has not been found. The cause of the fall has not been determined but Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz says "It is pretty much unheard of for someone to accidentally fall overboard. The rails are designed in a way to prevent that."