Cruise Ship Overboard: 2 People Go Missing Off Australian Coast; 5 Other Cruise Ship Nightmares

By iScienceTimes Staff on May 9, 2013 1:34 PM EDT

cruise ship
An Australian couple went overboard from a cruise ship last night. Officials are searching the waters after seeing security footage of the couple going overboard. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Authorities are searching for two people who are believed to have gone overboard from a cruise ship last night off the east coast of Australia.

Footage from surveillance cameras shows the unnamed Australian couple falling from the Carnival Spirit on Wednesday night, when the cruise ship was 93 miles off the coast of Foster, New South Wales.

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The couple, a 30-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, were discovered missing this morning when the ship docked in Sydney.

Police are investigating whether the couple fell or jumped. The cruise ship has 600 cameras onboard, but no one monitoring the cameras reported seeing the couple fall. Per protocol, the ship was fully searched after the couple was found to be missing.

"We believe that they were up mid-deck, which is halfway up the side of the ship, which is quite a way to fall." said New South Wales state Police Superintendent Mark Hutchings. "This is a tragic event at the moment, but we're holding out hope we might be able to find these people alive." He added, "It's game on and we are going to be pulling out all stops to try and find these people."

Passengers disappearing is just one of things that can go wrong on ships. Here are some of the worst nautical nightmares that have played out on the open seas (excluding disasters that were made into James Cameron films).

Running Aground

On Jan 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia went off course near the Tuscan island of Giglio, ramming into a reef which caused a 230-feet gash in the ship's hull. The ship capsized, with 32 people losing their lives. The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship while people were still onboard. The Costa Concordia still sits half-submerged where it crashed.

Disease Outbreak

In February 2012, 413 of the roughly 2,600 passengers aboard the Celebrity Mercury contracted a norovirus, a group of viruses that cause intestinal ailments and widespread vomiting. When a norovirus does appear, it is usually in close quarters -- and often on cruise ships. Most recently, a norovirus broke out on a month-long Royal Caribbean cruise.

Pirate Attack

Rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns fired on the Seabourn Spirit in November 2005, off the east African coast. The assailants? Somali pirates. Two armed boats ran alongside the Spirit, firing and attempting to get onboard. The ship was able to evade the pirates, and only one person was injured by shrapnel.

Collision

On December 20, 1987, the MV Dona Paz, a ferry, collided with the MT Vector, an oil tanker. The Vector's cargo ignited, causing a fire that spread to the Dona Paz. The fire was so great that one passenger reported that the sea itself was in flames. An estimated 4,375 people died, making it the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster ever.

Everything

In February 2013, a fire broke out in the Carnival Triumph's engine room. The fire was extinguished, but resulted in power loss. The ship was unable to move without power, and lost running water too. The scene was horrific: as one passenger said, "There's water and feces all over the floor," with people throwing up from the stench.

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