Update: Search Halted for Overboard Passenger on Bahamas Cruise

April 18, 2009
Editor's Note: The search for the passenger was halted at 8 p.m. Saturday night, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Nick Ameen. He told Cruise Critic that at that time there was "no reasonable expectation that he would be alive."

A 39-year-old passenger on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky went overboard early this morning as the ship was sailing toward the Bahamas, according to a statement issued by NCL. "A male guest was reported overboard from Norwegian Sky by occupants of his stateroom who witnessed the incident. The ship immediately began a search and rescue operation and notified relevant authorities."

One interesting note is that the search effort for the missing passenger not only included The Royal Bahamas Defense Force but also crew members from a handful of other cruise ships in the area. The reports noted that Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas, Disney Wonder and NCL's Norwegian Pearl were all in the area and responded to a request for help. The U.S. Coast Guard is participating as well and has three planes in the area.

The NCL statement noted that Norwegian Sky departed Miami on Friday, April 17, on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. The ship was approximately 60 miles north of Nassau when the incident occurred. As a result of the incident and the ensuing search, the ship has been delayed and only arrived at Nassau at about 2:45 p.m. (missing a half day in port). Norwegian Sky will now overnight in Nassau and depart tomorrow afternoon. It will skip its planned call to Great Stirrup Cay, the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief