A man was arrested after jumping off MSC Cruises’ MSC Bellissima while the ship was visiting Noha, Japan on Thursday, February 1.
The ship was docked at the time as part of a short Asia itinerary with port visits in Japan and China, and the man will possibly be charged with immigration violations for illegally entering the country.
Man Jumps Overboard From MSC Bellissima
A man, identified by Okinawa News Web as a Turkish national, was first reported to have fallen off the cruise ship when the incident was seen by onboard crew members.
The incident happened at approximately 10 p.m. near Wakaka Wharf, and the ship immediately activated emergency procedures and contacted local authorities to initiate search and rescue operations.
The man swam ashore and was found on the quay, where he was arrested on suspicion of illegally landing in the country. He has reportedly denied those allegations, claiming not to have realized the illegality of his actions as a violation of the Immigration Control Act. He was provided with medical treatment as necessary.
It is unknown whether or not the man is a passenger from the ship or one of MSC Bellissima‘s crew members, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing to determine what charges, if any, will be filed.
Ship’s Itinerary Not Impacted
While such an incident is certainly distressing, MSC Bellissima‘s schedule was not impacted. The ship continued her short sailing on schedule, with her next ports of call to Ishigakijima Island and Keelung as planned.
The 171,598-gross-ton MSC Bellissima is a Meraviglia-class ship that entered service in March 2019. She can welcome 4,500 guests aboard for each sailing, and is currently based from various Asian homeports offering departures from Keelung, Naha, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Yokohama, depending on sailing date and itinerary length.
Primarily, the ship offers shorter sailings and quick getaways, visiting amazing destinations such as Okinawa and Taiwan.
Unusual Overboard Circumstances
While no overboard incident is a positive experience, many guests or crew members who go overboard may do so deliberately but in a way where rescue is unlikely to be successful. Because this incident happened right at the dock and the individual swam to shore, his motives are certainly unusual and his state of mind is unknown.
Some incidents are the result of genuine accidents or deliberate foul play, though this does not appear to be the case in this situation. Undoubtedly, the investigation will cover a variety of angles to rule out different reasoning for the incident.
Regardless of the cause of an overboard, the ship’s crew and emergency personnel would respond the same – taking all steps necessary to preserve life. These situations can be very physically and emotionally draining, and Cruise Hive salutes the efforts of everyone involved to keep travelers and crew members safe.