The Coast Guard has ended the search for an overboard cruise ship passenger in Northern Europe on Monday afternoon. Searching conditions at the time were difficult, and the chance for survival is low.
Passenger Overboard MS Europa Cruise Ship
On Monday afternoon, August 16, the Netherlands Coast Guard started a search operation for an 80-year-old man overboard the MS Europe cruise ship.
A full search on board the vessel took place, but after the passenger was not found, it’s believed that he went or fell overboard.
At the time, the ship was sailing in bad weather conditions in the North Sea near the Dutch islands of Vlieland and Texel. There were high winds and waves at the height of 5 to 6 meters, which can make it dangerous when on the open decks of a cruise ship.
The Coast Guard was immediately notified, and a search operation was launched. The search started approximately 10 miles northwest of North Texel, where the man may have gone overboard. The search area was 20 square miles based on wind data on where he could have drifted to.
The Dutch Costa Guard posted: “Coastguard starts major search for possible man overboard approximately 10 nm north-west of north Texel. The person comes from the passenger ship Europa. An investigation is carried out on board whether the person is actually no longer on board.”
In total, there were five lifeboats from the Royal Dutch Rescue Service (KNRM), 1 Coast Guard tug boat, 1 helicopter, and 1 plane all search for the overboard passenger.
According to cruise tracking data, the MS Europa also searched the initial area. The cruise ship has already resumed its voyage, especially that the Coast Guard later ended the search at 5:55 PM local time.
The search ended due to the difficult sea conditions and the low probability of the man surviving so long. Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends during this tough time.
The Coast Guard confirmed the end of the search: “At approximately 17:55 the Coast Guard ended the SAR action and withdrew the units. The chance of survival was over and the entire area was searched as best as possible under the weather conditions.”
The vessel is operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and the cruise line recently restarted cruise operations in July.
In mid-July, MS Europa restarted out of Hamburg, Germany, and is sailing the Baltic Sea, Belgium, and France as part of her cruise offerings. Currently, the ship is heading towards Antwerp in Belgium and is set to arrive on Tuesday.
The ship is 28,890 gross tons and offers a luxury cruising experience. The vessel was built in 1999 with a guest capacity of 400 along with 285 crew members.