Is it possible to go overboard from a cruise ship? (this ? is not a joke)

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#1
virginia
5 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Going overboard from a cruise ship is the number one thing that scares me! like what happen if someone don't like you on the ship? im sure the person can just flip you overboard or what happens if you fell over by accident? will the ship turn around to get you? plus if you are alone and have a balcony cabin and you fall off into the sea. what happens? if no one knows you fell off out to sea that would be a scary site!! not sure if anyone else thought of this sort of thing happening to them. have there been reports of people going overboard? i don't think i ever heard of it happening from the news. i really love to go on a cruise! but this sort of thing is holding me back from cruising
#2
Delaware
3,061 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
The short answer is NO! Not unless someone is really stupid, drunk, showing off, etc. I have actually walked around the ship looking for places where someone could acidentally fall off, but never found one. The rails are too high. Please, don't be scared by this, cruising is very safe. We have been on 25 cruises so far and have never worried about falling overboard.
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#3
Palm City, Fl
3,728 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Its about like "falling" off the Golden Gate bridge....not easy, but if you are determined you can do it.
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#4
Greenville, SC, USA
51,264 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Whilel you can fall over, it will require some stupidity. If you try to sit or stand on the railing, you can fall overboard. If you lean to far over the railing, you can fall overboard.

Don't worry about it.
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Paul
#5
Kingston ON
6,170 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by montekat
The short answer is NO! Not unless someone is really stupid, drunk, showing off, etc.
So... that would make the long answer YES !

OP, if your that paranoid - don't go. And don't live in a high-rise apartment building with balconies either. Yes, it has happened both suicide, or drunk, (and possibly showing off as well). The cruise lines don't practice "Man Overboard" drills for no reason !
#7
Virginia
121 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I cannot imagine how you could possibly 'lean over too far' over a railing and fall over unless you were 9 feet tall.

Anything's possible, but you'd really have to try to fall overboard. If you sit on top of the railing, yes. But the railings are high and it sounds like you wouldn't exactly be the the type to do that, anyway.

I also can't imagine why anyone who "didn't like you" would want to throw you overboard.

Relax and go for it
#8
Nemo, TX
1,387 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Keith1010
You would have to intentionally want to jump from the ship to go overboard.
And if you're short you would have to work at getting over the railing.

But you don't have to hang out at the railing of a ship. Ships are BIG. Even if you want to walk around the promenade deck they are maybe 10-12 feet wide, if not wider. So you walk towards the boat side, not the railing side.

If you have a balcony, no one says you have to hang over the railing, you can sit in a chair with your back to the ship... or get a cabin on the inside.

If you're that afraid, just don't hang out at the railings.
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#9
Boston area
1,395 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
To the OP's question, yes I think I have read that if the ship knows you've gone overboard, they will go back and get you. Think I read recently about an amorous encounter for some newlyweds that sent them into the sea. They tread water for four hours or so but they were rescued.
#11
876 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
This really probably sound strange BUT, I always cruise alone and have a balcony cabin. I actually DO have a real fear that I may have a little too much to drink during my late seating dinner and go back to my cabin, onto my balcony, and fall overboard!!!!!
#12
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,920 Posts
Joined May 2001
You can't just "fall"....and if it's from an upper deck, you'll probably die when you hit the water....from 12 or more decks up, the water is like hitting concrete.
#13
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
21,293 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Found a list of overboards from 2000-2010. Considering how many people cruise the list is extremely short. Several are reported as naked, some seem to be definite suicides like the couple who had the DnD sign on their locked cabin door.

You cannot fall off a cruise ship while standing at the rail. You can fall off a cruise ship if you are sitting on the rail.

http://www.cruiseserver.net/travelpa..._overboard.asp

The averages on the bottom are interesting-- basically if you are 41yo male from CA or FL sailing on the Carnival Conquest be very careful.
#14
Pittsburgh, PA
1,825 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Well, it is possible to get over the rail if you wanted to try. It would certainly not be easy to simply fall overboard. The railings are high enough that you can lean over a good bit and not have enough of your body over to fall.

That being said, let's presume the worst, and your long-lost enemy is aboard, sees you and decides to pitch you over the side, or you are drunk and try to play Titanic and stand on the railing. There are the issues of surviving the fall -- you would survive the fall if you went feet-first and kept your feet together and held your nose. If you fell off the top deck of some of today's very tall ships, that might be problematic.

Assuming you survived the fall, the next threat is the ship's screws. There is suction along the side near the screws and you can get sucked under. So if you are conscious, you would need to swim away from the side of the ship. If someone reports the man overboard immediately, the ship will make an immediate turn to push the stern away from the side where the person went overboard. (Note to everyone, if you see this happen, you want to yell "man overboard" and state which side of the ship.)

Now, if someone sees you and reports it, the ship will immediately go into a man overboard maneuver and try to find you and pick you up. That would likely mean coming close to where you are and putting a lifeboat in the water. This is something they practice, and know how to do, but hope they never have to.

For everyone's information, this is another use of the muster drill -- to find out if everyone is aboard if someone thinks someone went over the side!

If the ship doesn't find out until hours later, as has been the case, it is a whole different scenario. People have survived in warm waters, and in fact a couple of years ago, a passenger from one line was picked up by a cruise ship from another line hours later. In this situation, you want to be a good swimmer! If you are wearing blue jeans, it is possible to make a life preserver out of them, but that is a lesson for another day.
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#15
Philadelphia area
6,726 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by antman455
Going overboard from a cruise ship is the number one thing that scares me! like what happen if someone don't like you on the ship? im sure the person can just flip you overboard or what happens if you fell over by accident?
You will die.
#16
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,390 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Someone's just been rescued-alive- from Ventura's Transatlantic....in the middle of the night! It's on the News page of this site.
There was a rescue in the North Sea from a ferry recently.....a crew member has said to friends of mine that there was a drunken game of "chicken", where you have to run and jump onto the first rail- and lean over; then the 2nd; then the 3rd....
Jo.
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#17
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
if you want to go overboard you have to 'work' at it, its not just gonna happen.
dont worry just go and enjoy and if it bothers you that much dont get so close to the railings
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#18
11,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
For kids I think that it is a legitimate concern. There would need to be a little climbing involved but kids will be kids and I would worry about the under 6 crowd the most. Anyone who says that they have never lost sight of their kids for a moment or ever forgot to lock the doors etc is not being honest. If I brought a small child out on deck and couldn't find them for 30 seconds I would absolutely panic. For older kids and adults I think that just by looking over the rail you know that it is dangerous and not a place to fool around by.
#19
Erial, New Jersey
1,850 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by Karysa
For kids I think that it is a legitimate concern. There would need to be a little climbing involved but kids will be kids and I would worry about the under 6 crowd the most. Anyone who says that they have never lost sight of their kids for a moment or ever forgot to lock the doors etc is not being honest. If I brought a small child out on deck and couldn't find them for 30 seconds I would absolutely panic. For older kids and adults I think that just by looking over the rail you know that it is dangerous and not a place to fool around by.
Not all that legitimate of a concern. I cannot recall any instances of kids falling overboard by themselves.
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#20
11,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by Doug R.
Not all that legitimate of a concern. I cannot recall any instances of kids falling overboard by themselves.
That's reassuring but have you ever heard of a 10 year old getting a mountain bike break stuck 3 inches into her thigh after a fall and the firefighters cutting the bike off of her. LOL (yep, you're right, my kid!)