84-Year-Old Man Falls Off Cruise Ship, Search Operations Called Off

An 84-year-old man was lost at sea after he reportedly fell off a cruise ship on which he was holidaying. According to ABC News Australia, the man who has not been identified by name, was on board the Sun Princess when the incident took place. A long search and rescue operation that was launched after the man fell off was called off after it was advised that the elderly man could not have survived being in the water for so long. CCTV images showed the man falling off from the cruise ship from a height of 25 meters.

The cruise ship was due to dock in Sydney on Tuesday morning. However, after it was established that the man was overboard, the ship turned back and started looking for the man – without success. A specialist search aircraft was sent in as well to scourge the area where the individual was believed to have fallen into the sea. The location where the incident took place is located 175 nautical miles east of Sydney.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority was involved in the search and rescue operations right from the beginning, reports 9 News. However, they have decided to cancel the search based on expert medical advice regarding the man’s survivability. AMSA spokesman Mel Larsson said.

“We hold grave concerns for his welfare due to his age. However, going by the length of time he would have been in the water and the prevailing conditions, it’s very difficult to imagine survivability for too long in those circumstances.”

“It’s quite heavy swells, two to three metres… [with] 25 to 30 knot winds.”

The owners of the Cruise ship have in statement released earlier confirmed that it intended to stay at sea, looking for the lost individual until it was instructed otherwise by authorities. The ship was on a 13-day cruise to New Zealand when the incident happened.

The statement read.

“Princess Cruises confirms that an 84-year-old male passenger was reported missing early today on board Sun Princess, which was on the way to Sydney completing a 13-day New Zealand cruise. A thorough search of Sun Princess was conducted but the passenger could not be located. The Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Canberra was contacted and Sun Princess turned around and retraced its path off the coast of New South Wales.”

According to a passenger on board the cruise ship.

“The captain announced they did a thorough search of the ship and went through and they can’t find the passenger anywhere so they’ve reported to Sydney.”

According to Maritime Safety Authority official Lisa Martin, medical advice showed that the man would not have survived the fall and the rough conditions.

[Image Via Cruise Guide]