Search Suspended for Missing Overboard Royal Caribbean Passenger

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The United States Coast Guard has confirmed that the active search for a missing passenger from Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas has been suspended. Multiple assets were involved in the search from late Tuesday into Wednesday, without success.

Search Ends for Overboard Royal Caribbean Passenger

The search for a missing Australian man overboard from Quantum of the Seas was resumed Thursday morning, but without success, and that search has now been discontinued.

“After reviewing all relevant information of the case and discussing with our Australian consulate counterparts as well as with the next of kin, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas,” said Kevin Cooper, a search and rescue mission coordinator for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu.

Quantum of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas (Photo Credit: Mohd Syis Zulkipli / Shutterstock)

Details about the missing passenger, other than being a male guest from Australia, have not been released in order to preserve the privacy of the individual, as well as their family, friends, and loved ones.

Quantum of the Seas was involved in the first two hours of searching before being released to resume course on its itinerary toward Hawaii. During its search efforts, the cruise ship swept the ocean’s surface with lighting, launched rescue boats, and used trained observers to scan for the missing passenger.

Search Operations

An Australian man was reported overboard from Quantum of the Seas at 11:03 p.m. Tuesday evening, April 25, 2023, in a region roughly 500 miles (805 kilometers) south of the Big Island of Hawaii. The cruise ship immediately began search operations, including onboard protocols such as accounting for guests onboard and reviewing security cameras.

Read Also: What Happens During a Cruise Ship Overboard Alarm?

The United States Coast Guard was contacted for assistance and joined the search as soon as light conditions permitted, arriving in the region at approximately 9 a.m. The search continued across five search patterns for six hours on Wednesday until the C-130 Hercules needed to refuel, at which time it returned to base.

Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Mohd Syis Zulkipli / Shutterstock

The search was resumed at first light Thursday morning, but ultimately proved unsuccessful as the man was not located.

Unfortunately, due to the time in the water and the ocean conditions, it is unlikely that the man will be located so long after going overboard.

Though the water temperatures in the search region are roughly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius), and wave conditions are not considered too rough, an individual without any survival gear or supplies in the water will typically become exhausted or unconscious in 12 hours or less.

At the time the search was suspended, the man had been overboard for roughly 36 hours. Other vessels in the region continue to be advised to be on the lookout, though the search is no longer active.

Quantum of the Seas‘ Schedule

Despite the delay for search operations, Quantum of the Seas was able to continue on course for Kona, Hawaii and arrived as planned. This port of call is the ship’s last stop on the 16-night transpacific repositioning sailing from Brisbane, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii, where the ship will arrive on Friday, April 28, 2023.

This cruise is just the first of three sailings for the ship’s seasonal repositioning. Next, the vessel will sail a 10-night one-way voyage from Honolulu to Vancouver, visiting Maui and Kona in Hawaii before spending six consecutive days at sea to reach Canada.

From there, a 7-night one-way cruise between Vancouver and Seattle – visiting Alaska ports during the week – will settle the ship in her summer homeport. From Seattle, Quantum of the Seas will offer 7-night “Alaska Adventure” cruises through September before repositioning back to Brisbane.

Cruise Hive’s deepest condolences go out to the passenger’s family, friends, and loved ones, as well as to other guests onboard and the crew of Quantum of the Seas.

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