The peak season for cruises is underway with many families eager to plan short getaways while kids are on summer vacation.
While cruise ships have made major advancements in passenger safety, an average of 19 people have fallen overboard per year between 2009 and 2019, according to a report from the Cruise Lines International Association. Of those who’ve fallen overboard, only a small number are rescued.
Here’s a look at some recent incidents involving passengers falling overboard:
MAN FALLS FROM CRUISE SHIP OFF FLORIDA COAST: ‘LIFE OF THE PARTY’
May 29, 2023
Ronnie Lee Peale Jr., 35, fell overboard from the Carnival Magic cruise ship May 29 around 186 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Lines told Fox News Digital security video shows the man leaning over the railing of his balcony and falling into the water at 4:10 a.m. Later that afternoon, his companion reported him missing, according to the spokesperson.
A GoFundMe created by Peale’s fiancée, Jennilyn Blosser, says it was his “first cruise.”
“We went on a cruise to celebrate my birthday and sadly he went overboard and still has not been recovered. Please keep our family in your prayers and thanks for your support. This was Ronnie’s first cruise and thankfully he had a great time and made plenty of friends. He is our social butterfly that was always on the move and loved to make friends with everyone,” Blosser wrote.
COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR MAN WHO FELL OVERBOARD FROM CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIP NEAR FLORIDA
The Coast Guard suspended its search June 1 after searching more than 5,171 square miles.
“The Seventh Coast Guard District dispatched multiple search and rescue assets as soon as we were notified of the missing person. Our command center watchstanders provided search patterns to cutter crews and air crews who actively searched from Monday through Wednesday evening,” Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Hooper, Coast Guard District Seven search and rescue mission coordinator, said in a statement.
VIRGIN CRUISE PASSENGER FALLS FROM BALCONY AND LATER DIES
April 2, 2023
A passenger onboard the Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady died after falling from a balcony April 2, according to a spokesperson for the company.
“Yesterday evening, shortly after departure, there was a medical emergency involving one of our passengers,” the spokesperson said. “This passenger went over their balcony onto a lower deck and, despite receiving immediate medical attention, has passed away.”
Following the incident, the ship returned to its departure port in Miami, Florida.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss of life, and our hearts and thoughts are with this person’s loved ones,” the Virgin Voyages spokesperson said.
COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR MISSING AUSTRALIAN CRUISE PASSENGER WHO WENT OVERBOARD HAWAII-BOUND SHIP
April 26, 2023
An Australian passenger onboard Royal Caribbeans Quantum of the Seas went missing after going overboard April 25.
The U.S. Coast Guard received a report regarding a missing person around 11:03 p.m. April 25, and the cruise remained within the area where the person went overboard to search for two hours before resuming the cruise.
The Coast Guard said the search was being conducted 500 miles south of Kailua-Kona, Big Island.
Kevin Cooper, a search and rescue mission coordinator for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, said April 27 the search was suspended.
“After reviewing all relevant information of the case and discussing it 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,” Cooper said.
November 23, 2022
James Grimes went overboard from the Carnival Valor cruise ship just one day before Thanksgiving Nov. 23, 2022, according to WWL.
He was reported missing after leaving a bar to use the restroom close to 11 p.m.
FOX 8 New Orleans reported the missing passenger was rescued around 8:25 p.m. Thanksgiving night after going missing nearly a day.
He was discovered around 20 miles south of the Southwest Pass, which is a channel south of Louisiana located at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER HAD SECONDS LEFT ‘BEFORE WE LOST HIM COMPLETELY,’ COAST GUARD DIVER SAYS
U.S. Coast Guard aviation survival technician Richard Hoefle told WWL Grimes had little energy left when he was found.
“Mr. Grimes had nothing left. He had no energy. He had nothing left to give,” Hoefle said. “My best guess is that he had between a minute and 30 seconds left before we lost him completely.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Greg Wehner, and Greg Norman contributed to this report.