May 21, 2018

Search called off for elderly man who fell overboard

The search for an elderly man who went overboard from the Sun Princess cruise ship on Saturday has been called off.

The tragic incident, which occurred about 100 nautical miles south-east of Singapore, happened at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

Cruise company, Carnival Australia, said CCTV footage showed the man, who was in his 80s, appeared to go overboard intentionally.

The tragic incident is a sad reminder that men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia.

The company conveyed its condolences. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the man’s family and friends in this very tragic circumstance,” it said.

Six days into the 12-day cruise, the ship broadcast an announcement over its PA system that a passenger had gone overboard, and the ship turned around. It took about one hour to return to the location where the incident had occurred.

A passenger on board the ship published a photo on Twitter of the rescue boat searching for the man.

“Fast rescue vessel just launched from the Sun Princess. Capt has arrived back at point where man overboard. Ship will now do a square search pattern to starboard,” he wrote.

Conditions were calm, he said.

The cruise departed from Perth. It had recently left Indonesia, and was on its way to Kuala Lumpur.

Tragically, the incident is the second of its kind in only two months.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

PANDA on 1300 726 306

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36

Headspace on 1800 650 890


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