Cruise Ship

Vision Of The Seas

Incident Type

Crew / Passenger Death (Overboard)

Date of Accident

December 23, 2023

Location of Accident

East Coast USA, near Charleston, SC

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Introduction

On December 23, 2023, a tragic incident occurred on Vision Of The Seas while it was navigating along the East Coast of the USA, about 127 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. A 41-year-old male passenger went overboard during the ship’s journey from Maryland to Florida. This event initiated an extensive search and rescue operation, involving both the ship’s crew and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Details of the Incident

The overboard incident was first reported to the USCG’s Sector North Carolina at 7:17 pm (0:17 UTC). In response, a rescue helicopter arrived at the scene at 9:51 pm (2:51 UTC), and Vision Of The Seas deployed a rescue boat to aid in the search. The ship continued searching for approximately six hours before being released to resume its voyage. Despite efforts from the ship and two USCG aircraft (Lockheed C-130 Hercules) from Elizabeth City, NC, and Clearwater, FL, the passenger’s body was not found.

Operational Context

This incident took place at the beginning of the Christmas-themed 8-day “Perfect Day Holiday Cruise,” with an itinerary from December 22 to 30, roundtrip from Baltimore, MD. The cruise included stops in Florida (Port Canaveral) and the Bahamas (Resorts World Bimini, CocoCay, and Freeport). The loss of a passenger cast a somber tone over the holiday voyage, emphasizing the importance of safety and vigilance on cruise ships.

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