Search Underway for Missing Holland America Line Crew Member

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Authorities have begun search operations for a crew member reported missing and overboard from Holland America Line’s Rotterdam. At the time of the incident, the ship was sailing eastward in the Florida Strait south of Marathon, roughly midway along the Florida Keys, while finishing a 6-night Western Caribbean sailing.

Crew Member Missing From ms Rotterdam

A crew member has been reported missing from Rotterdam and search operations have been initiated to try and locate the individual. At this time, the identity – age, gender, crew position, nationality – of the individual has not been released, in order to safeguard their privacy.

“A team member on Rotterdam was reported missing after the ship docked in Fort Lauderdale, FL on April 13. A review of closed-circuit TV footage indicates the person went purposefully overboard around 9:45 p.m. on April 12 while the ship was sailing off the Florida Keys. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and began a search of the area, which remains underway,” a statement from Holland America Line to Cruise Hive read.

It is not known how the crew member was discovered missing, though it may be a failure to report for a duty shift or to check in with a supervisor or roommate. Once it was known the crew member was not aboard, the ship’s security footage was reviewed, and the individual was seen going overboard on the previous evening.

This detail will help concentrate search operations, as the ship’s exact location at that time can be pinpointed. By using known weather data and knowledge of local water currents, it is hoped the search may prove successful.

At this time, both marine and air assets from the US Coast Guard are involved in the search 20 miles south of Marathon, Florida. Undoubtedly, Holland America Line is also providing support to other team members onboard as well as impacted family members and friends at this troubling time.

“All of us at Holland America Line are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the team member’s family at this difficult time,” the cruise line statement concluded.

No Impact to Sailings

Rotterdam returned to Fort Lauderdale as scheduled on Saturday morning, finishing a 6-night Western Caribbean cruise that had departed on Sunday, April 7 and visited Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.

The ship has already departed on its next sailing with no delay. The current cruise is a 14-night one-way repositioning transatlantic sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the ship’s namesake city, Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

Holland America Line's Rotterdam Ship
Holland America Line’s Rotterdam Ship (Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock)

Rotterdam will remain homeported from Rotterdam through mid-October, offering a range of Norway, Norse Legend, and Viking-themed voyages to top ports such as Alesund, Flam, Bergen, Oslo, Kristiansand, and Sandnessjoen, depending on the exact itinerary and departure date.

Read Also: What Is a Transatlantic Cruise?

The 99,863-gross-ton, Pinnacle-class vessel is the newest ship in the Holland America Line fleet, and can welcome 2,668 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,173 travelers if fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard are approximately 1,050 international team members.

Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the Rotterdam crew, as well as the friends and family members of the missing team member, at this very difficult time.

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