— Dionne Anglin (@DAnglinFox4) May 16, 2016
Samantha Broberg, a 33-year-old mother of four, went overboard on a cruise from Texas to Mexico last week. Security footage shot on the cruise shows her climbing on the tenth deck railing before falling backwards off the boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
The video was captured at 2 a.m. on Friday, and officials were not made aware of her disappearance until 12 p.m. later that day after her friends realized she was missing, People magazine reported. The U.S. Coast Guard was called in several hours later to look for her in the water, according to The Associated Press and ABC News.
According to Cruise Law News‘ Jim Walker, the Carnival cruise ship she was on “was apparently not equipped with a automatic man overboard system.”
The system, if in place, would “have alerted the bridge immediately when the young woman went over the rail so that immediate rescue measures could have been undertaken,” Walker wrote. He said the the 15-hour delay from when Broberg fell overboard and when the Coast Guard was called in is unacceptable.
— domingo ramirez jr. (@mingoramirezjr) May 16, 2016
As Walker notes, in the past 16 years, about 270 people have gone overboard on cruise ships. “The last passenger to go overboard disappeared from Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas earlier this month,” it says.
He also blamed Carnival for serving passengers too much alcohol:
On land, bars face liability when they over-serve people to the point that they become literally falling-down drunks. The same liability on cruise ships. Intoxicated guests acting foolishly are foreseeable, especially on cruise ships. Carnival encourages the drunkenness with all-you-can-drink packages. Carnival knows that people will become highly intoxicated but does not have reasonable policies to deal with the problem. Then it does not invest in the proven technology of automatic MOB systems to immediately alert the bridge when someone goes overboard. It is a failure driven by the cruise line’s overarching priority to place profits over safety.
In many man overboard incidents, alcohol seems to be a factor, Walker added.
On Monday, the Coast Guard said it called off the search for Broberg on Sunday after about two days of searching.
Her husband, Karl, issued a statement to the media asking for his family’s privacy to be respected.
— Sofia Ojeda (@KPRCSofiaOjeda) May 16, 2016
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the incident that occurred on the Carnival Cruise Ship. We hope and pray the U.S. Coast Guard is able to bring Samantha home. We ask for privacy as our family comes together during this difficult time,” his family said in the statement.
The FBI was also called in to investigate her disappearance.
“We get called in whenever there is a death that occurs that is uncertain in how it occurred,” FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap told People. “The FBI is coordinating with Carnival on an ongoing death investigation.”
But a spokesperson for Carnival said, “There is no foul play suspected here. Absolutely not.”
(H/T – IJReview)