Experience You Can
Depend On

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Cruise Ship Injuries
  4.  » When passengers fall overboard on cruise ships

When passengers fall overboard on cruise ships

While on a cruise in New York, you might hear that there is a man overboard. This phrase typically means that a person has fallen over the side of the ship. As soon as this happens, there are procedures that are followed in order to try to get the person out of the water and back on the ship.


The first thing that the captain and crew will do to try to prevent as many cruise ship injuries as possible if someone falls overboard is to get the ship stopped. In some situations, it could take up to a mile for the ship to get safely stopped in the water before the next phase of the rescue process begins.

How falls happen

Although falls from cruise ships can happen for any reason, the most common are accidents and intentional acts that are committed by passengers. Sometimes, passengers might take part in activities that inhibit their ability to perform basic functions correctly, such as walking or paying attention to railings. Some passengers might fall because they think that they can walk on the rails. There are also people who intentionally jump off of ships to commit suicide or who push people off of ships.


As soon as someone notices that a passenger has fallen overboard, an announcement is usually made so that as many people as possible can begin looking in the water to try to spot the person. Floatation devices are typically thrown in the water in the approximate area where the person fell overboard. There could also be announcements made that let passengers know of any changes that will take place regarding the itinerary of the trip.

Although falling overboard on a cruise ship doesn’t happen as often as other incidents, it is something that is dealt with in a professional manner for the safety of the person who fell and the rest of the passengers.