False Alarm on Carnival Destiny

October 30, 2002
Passengers onboard Carnival's Destiny were in for a little excitement earlier this week. Late one evening -- or, rather, early one morning -- some passengers, according to Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz, reported a "man overboard" off the ship's starboard side.   "The bridge was notified and quickly did a maneuver that is designed to swing the tail of the ship away from the side of the vessel where the person went over," De La Cruz explains, "This is intended to swing the ship's propellers away from the vicinity of where the individual allegedly landed in the water."
Destiny's officers then slowed the ship's speed, so they could execute the "Williamson Turn," so-designed to bring the ship back to the approximate vicinity of where the person fell overboard. Meanwhile, she reports, the ship notified the United States Coast Guard and began to conduct a roll-call to account for passengers. Not a simple exercise, the roll-count involved a middle-of-the-night announcement "asking all guests who were still out and about to return to their cabins.   Then we do an actual head count," she says, going cabin-to-cabin.
Beyond an impromptu wake-up call, for most passengers the most excitement was generated by the  ship's abrupt turns where items, small and large, did topple off tables. "Unfortunately," De La Cruz says, "that is sometimes going to happen when you do these maneuvers but they are conducted to try to save the life of whoever has gone overboard."
And the hapless passenger who had fallen over? Ultimately, there was no "man overboard." All guests and crew were accounted for. A false alarm.