Passenger Jumps Overboard China’s First Purpose-Built Cruise Ship

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Chinese cruise ship, Adora Magic Cityencountered a serious emergency on June 29, 2024, when a male passenger jumped overboard while the ship was traveling from Shanghai to Jeju Island, South Korea.

The incident occurred around 7 a.m. as the ship was approximately 90 nautical miles from Jeju Island.

The ship’s crew discovered the man’s disappearance through surveillance footage, which showed him climbing over the railing and plunging into the water.

Adora Magic City
Adora Magic City

Upon the discovery, Adora Magic City immediately reversed course to return to the site where the passenger fell, and crew launched an emergency search and rescue operation.

Passengers were enlisted to scan the waters from the ship’s balconies and decks. The captain’s announcements, captured in videos shared online, urged passengers to report any sightings of the man in the water.

“Good morning, ladies and gentleman,” the captain can be heard. “We have now arrived at the place where the guest fell into the water. Please help in the search and report any suspicious sighting immediately.”

Videos posted by passengers on social media depicted the tense atmosphere on the ship, with many anxiously looking out to sea and waiting for updates. Adora Cruises, the operator of Adora Magic City, acknowledged the incident and ongoing search efforts.

Local news reported the search effort included three ships, including a container ship and the South Korean Coast Guard. Despite the crew’s immediate response and the collective efforts of the passengers, no trace of the man was found.

As the day progressed, conditions worsened with strong winds and reduced visibility complicating search efforts. The Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center, Chinese maritime authorities, and additional cargo ships from China also joined in the search. 

Despite intensive search efforts, the passenger remains missing, and search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. The 135,500-gross-ton cruiseliner has resumed its course with the Chinese Coast Guard taking over the search efforts.

China’s First Domestically Built Cruise Ship

Adora Magic City is the first cruise ship built entirely in China as a joint venture between the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Carnival Corporation. Designed based on Carnival’s previous designs at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the ship incorporates both Eastern and Western designs and aesthetics and amenities and is a sister ship to Carnival VistaCarnival HorizonCarnival Venezia, and Carnival Firenze.

Launching on its maiden voyage from its Shanghai homeport on January 1, 2024, with over 3,000 passengers, the ship can accommodate a total of up to 5,246 passengers and 1,300 crew across its 16 decks.

Read Also: The Chinese Cruise Market: From Rise to Fall to Resurgence

Adora Magic City
Adora Magic City

The incident led to significant delays in Adora Magic City’s itinerary, which was required under maritime law. A ship’s captain must render assistance to any person at sea in danger of being lost.

Originally scheduled to stop at Jeju Island on June 29 following a June 28 departure, the ship had to cancel the stop. Instead, it continued to Nagaski Island, Japan, for its scheduled June 30 arrival.

Passengers were compensated HK$400 onboard credit per person for the inconvenience caused by the extended search operation. They were also refunded HK$200 for the port fees required to visit Jeju Island.  

Adora Cruises’ currently has a second ship under construction at China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Yard in Shanghai. The new ship, scheduled to be complete for 2025 sailings, will be slightly bigger than Adora Magic City and weigh 141,000 gross tons. It will carry 4,200 passengers for the domestic China market.

The cruise line also operates Mediterranea, formerly a Costa Cruise Line ship.

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