Cruise companies have known for years that when a passenger goes overboard, one of the best chances that person has of surviving is being found by the cruise company within the first several minutes and hours at sea. Man-overboard technology has been developed which would assist in alerting cruise companies as to when a passenger has fallen overboard, and help cruise authorities find the locations where the passengers entered the water. But despite the urgent need for this technology, cruise companies have been slow to deploy it.
As can be seen in this news piece, even when cruise companies have deployed the technology, sometimes they don’t monitor the systems adequately. In the above video, Karl Broberg discusses how his wife fell over board from a Carnival cruise ship last May. Broberg notes that “When you look and you see how many people have fallen off cruise ships to their death, you just can’t believe there’s some sort of technology that’s affordable to them in place where this could be prevented.”
With approximately two dozen people falling overboard from cruise ships every year, the need for this technology is paramount. A bill, currently being considered in Congress, would require cruise companies to install better man-overboard technology.