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Lost passenger is fifth man overboard off cruise ships this year

Cruise ships may seem like floating hotels, but passengers face some risks they never would on land, even in calm seas. There have been five man overboard incidents involving cruise ship crew and passengers so far this year, most recently involving a Florida man on the Carnival Victory cruise ship.

The 23-year-old from Florida fell overboard off the eighth deck of the ship around 3 a.m. last Wednesday, according to Coast Guard reports. After 16 hours of searching, the Coast Guard finally made the tough call to stop the search.

The cruise ship search boat, Coast Guard crews and a Cuban search-and-rescue team covered more than three thousand miles in their search. The team reported doing everything they could to locate the missing man, who fell overboard when the ship was about 30 miles from the coast of Cuba.

Carnival Cruise Lines, one of the largest cruise lines, also has the unfortunate distinction of leading cruise lines in the number of man overboard incidents. Of the 289 man overboard incidents on cruise ships and ferries since 2000, as tracked by cruise industry expert Ross Klein, 59 occurred off Carnival ships.

It's a sharp reminder that cruise ships passengers need to take some of the same precautions they would on smaller boats, especially while standing near railings.

So far, no information has been reported about what may have caused this passenger to go overboard. However, passengers should remember that if negligence on the part of a cruise ship crew or company causes a man overboard or injury, they may be able to seek damages.

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