Carnival Cruise Lines just can’t cut a break. The beleaguered luxury-cruise line — which was struck not once, not twice, but three times by technical issues that left passengers stranded at sea, knee-deep in fetid water from overflowing toilets — is in the headlines again. This time, Good Morning America reports (via AP), two passengers are missing and presumed dead.
Authorities in Australia are searching for a couple who apparently fell overboard on a Carnival Spirit cruise ship the night before it was scheduled to dock in Sydney, according to surveillance video, police said.
The couple — a 30-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman —was reported missing this morning after the ship docked at Sydney’s Circular Quay at the end of a 10-day journey, New South Wales state Police Superintendent Mark Hutchings said.
The video footage from Wednesday night shows the couple from New South Wales falling from the ship’s mid-deck about 65 miles off the coast of Forester, a city 185 miles from Sydney. Police are now trying to determine whether the couple accidentally fell or deliberately jumped from the ship. The identity of the couple has not been released.
Police were alerted about the couple’s absence two hours after the ship docked. For its part, the ship’s crew immediately initiated standard missing-person procedures, including a full search of the vessel. “This is a tragic event at the moment,” Hutchings said, “but we’re holding out hope we might be able to find these people alive.”
Police are using a plane and boats off the coast of Forster to search for the couple.
Carnival spokesman Peter Taylor said in a news release:
We have naturally been concerned since we became aware that two passengers were missing from Carnival Spirit and our thoughts are clearly with their families at this difficult time. We are working closely with New South Wales Police and assisting them in their inquiries.
Out of respect for the families, we won’t be making further comment at this time.
GMA reminds viewers that in addition to Carnival’s mishaps, which inconvenienced passengers, the company has one serious blot on its record. That occurred last when the Costa Concordia struck a rock off the coast of Italy, killing 32.
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