Two Passengers Plunge from Two Carnival Ships

July 2, 2007
Disproving our point that it's apparently not easy to go overboard a cruise ship, two passenger on two different Carnival ships plunged into the water this weekend. Both were recovered, though one lived and the other died.

According to news reports, the scenarios are as follows:

A 28-year-old Maryland man who was a passenger on Carnival Liberty, had, according the Associated Press -- which was quoting the Coast Guard -- "possibly jumped overboard." Scott Durrin of Rockville was rescued after his 11:35 p.m. leap; he'd fallen some 36 feet into the water off the coast of Florida's Boca Raton.

Durrin's folly -- the Coast Guard observed he "appeared to have been intoxicated" -- resulted in a one-hour stay in the Atlantic; crew threw life rings and life jackets down to him until he could be located by the Coast Guard. Durrin is now in a shore side medical facility where's undergoing further evaluation and treatment.

Carnival Liberty had just departed Sunday from Ft. Lauderdale for a six night Western Carribbean cruise.

While sailing through the Gulf of Mexico on Carnival Ecstasy, an 18-year-old man -- whose identity has not been released -- apparently jumped overboard at around 7:30 a.m. He was recovered by crewmembers a half hour later and brought back onboard, but did not survive.

The passenger's identity has been confirmed. David Ritcheson, 18, was from Houston. Circumstances surrounding his going overboard are, according to media reports, more complex than those of the Liberty jumper.

Carnival is of course not the only cruise line to experience "man overboard" scenarios -- in the most recent occurrence, Royal Caribbean was never able to find one of its Freedom of the Seas' passengers who'd presumably gone over. On Princess Cruises' Grand Princess this spring, a man and woman fell off a balcony and treaded water in the Gulf of Mexico before being rescued. And in another spring break mishap, a Carnival Glory passenger also found himself treading water; he survived as well.

While it seems that an increasing number of cruise travelers are managing to fall overboard, it must be emphasized that it's very, very difficult to achieve such a stupendously stupid feat. In most cases, railings, whether on private balconies or public decks, are simply too high for an accidental fall. Indeed, very few cases of passengers going overboard are accidents; they're either tragically intentional or frustratingly ridiculous outcomes of alcoholic over-consumption.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor