A search and rescue operation is underway in the waters off Puerto Rico after a man-overboard signal was issued on MSC Cruises’ MSC Seascape on November 14, 2023. The US Coast Guard is leading the search for a passenger believed to be a crew member on the ship, which is based at PortMiami.
Search for Overboard Crew Member from MSC Seascape
Guests onboard MSC Seascape learned a passenger was missing from the ship at about 9 p.m. on November 14, 2023, as the vessel was making its way toward the Dominican Republic following a port call at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Scores of reports and videos on social media show the search operation in the waters around the ship. One post on X includes a statement from the ship’s captain, saying the US Coast Guard had advised the ship to maintain its course toward its next port call, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, while it continues the search operation. MSC Cruises has not confirmed any information regarding the emergency.
The US Coast Guard has deployed two rescue boats and a helicopter, social media reports say, as the search continues.
Sophia Lesseos, a reporter for a TV news station in California and a guest aboard MSC Seascape, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the ship searched for nearly four hours before leaving the area and will be delayed in its arrival at the next port of call.
“We just got word we will be arriving in the Dominican Republic hours later than the scheduled time,” Lesseos’ post says.
Information about the missing crew member is limited. It is believed the missing person is a male Mauritian national who works as a hotel cleaner. MSC Seascape employs more than 1,600 crew members of many nationalities.
According to Crew Center, the ship stopped sailing when the emergency alert was issued, and the ship’s lifeboats were lowered to begin the search. Coast Guard ships and a helicopter arrived and joined the search.
“The vessel came to a halt in the waters off the coast of Puerto Rico, and a search and rescue operation commenced, involving Coast Guard ships, a search and rescue helicopter, and MSC Seascape lifeboats were lowered into the sea,” Crew Center reported.
The 4,500-guest MSC Seascape is sailing 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Miami. The cruise departed on November 11, 2023 and called at Nassau, Bahamas, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Following her port call at Puerto Plata-Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, the ship will also visit the MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve before returning to Miami on November 18, 2023.
Second Man-Overboard Incident Within a Week
The emergency aboard MSC Seascape is the second man-overboard incident this week. On November 13, 2023, male guest was reported missing from Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Glory, which had departed New Orleans the day before.
The missing guest was identified as Tyler Barnett, from Houma, Louisiana. Crew members were unable to account for the guest onboard the ship, and the US Coast Guard was contacted to begin a search.
Multiple aircraft searched some 200 miles along the ship’s route, since the location where the man went overboard is not known. He has not yet been found.
MSC Seascape is an EVO-class ship that launched in 2022. The ship has been based at PortMiami since entering service. MSC Seascape has 2,270 staterooms, 11 dining venues, 19 bar/lounge areas, six pools, and the largest MSC Yacht Club in the cruise line’s fleet.
The ship is known for her Robotron thrill ride, a massive aqua park, and a glass-floored bridge that offers unique views of the ocean.