|Mariner of the Seas // Photo by Royal Caribbean International|
A Chinese cruise passenger from Shanghai, China, who was sailing with her parents on Royal Caribbean International’s 3,100-passenger Mariner of the Seas, fell overboard into the Pacific Ocean a few days ago.
Expecting another sad outcome? Fortunately, this story has an incredibly happy ending as 32-year-old Wang Si was rescued after spending 38 hours in the ocean.
According to media reports from CruiseLawNews.com, Cruise Hive and the People's Daily China, Si, a resident of Shanghai, accidentally fell overboard while admiring the scenery from Deck 4. She apparently leaned too far over the railing.
Si went into the water at about 9 p.m. on August 10. Her parents reported her missing to the ship's crew after she failed to return from a walk.
The cruise line reportedly issued several ship-wide public announcements searching for her. Several hundred crew also searched for her onboard to no avail.
The line's CCTV footage revealed that she'd fallen overboard into the sea from a height of about 90-plus feet. She was not wearing a life jacket.
The Chinese Coast Guard was alerted as the ship continued to Shanghai, its turnaround port. There, police boarded and questioned the ship’s crew as well as reviewed the video of her fall.
Relatives were told that the outcome was likely not going to be positive. But, the story had an unexpected twist.
Si, who learned to swim in kindergarten, was apparently a very good swimmer. After falling into the ocean, she actually tried to swim and "catch" the cruise ship but eventually stopped when she realized it wouldn't be possible.
So for 38 hours she swam, treaded water and floated, even getting a bit of sleep. She finally was rescued as she attracted the attention of a fishing boat's crew.
The cruiser told rescuers she had also tried but failed to get the attention of several other fishing boats earlier. When pulled aboard the fishing boat, she was exhausted and suffering from sunburn and jellyfish stings.
Otherwise, she was in good condition, though -- the best of all outcomes.
The family was in the midst of a four-day cruise to Japan and South Korea when the incident occurred.
Cynthia Martinez, director, global corporate communications, Royal Caribbean International, tells Travel Agent, "We are grateful to learn that our guest is safe. Many of our crew members assisted in searching for her, and we all share the family's relief in her safe return home. We also thank the crew of the vessel that rescued her for their care and professionalism. It is our intention to respect our guest's desire for privacy and we hope others will respect her wishes as well. Our safety procedures were strictly followed during the incident, including the notifying and receiving guidance from authorities."