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Passenger falls off cruise ship traveling from Taiwan to Okinawa

Late-night rescue saves foreign passenger of MSC Bellissima who fell overboard

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Foreign passenger falls off cruise ship. (Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau photo)

Foreign passenger falls off cruise ship. (Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A passenger traveling on the cruise ship, MSC Bellissima, from Keelung to Okinawa fell overboard into the ocean at 10 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 2).

The individual fell into the sea near Wakaka Wharf, and the captain of the cruise ship immediately made an emergency broadcast and reported the case to Japanese authorities to undertake an immediate search and rescue operation. A search for the passenger was complicated by nighttime conditions, per UDN.

Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Bureau confirmed the incident occurred, reporting that the individual was a foreign passenger who was located and pulled from the water. Japanese rescuers rushed the passenger to a hospital, where overnight medical treatment was provided. The passenger is now reportedly in good condition.

The cause of the accident and the identity of the individual have not been made public. Japanese authorities are following up with an investigation. The Maritime and Port Bureau said the incident did not disrupt the schedule of the 4,000-passenger MSC Belissima, which returned to Keelung Port at 7 a.m. on Feb. 4, with personnel from Taiwanese officials boarding the ship to conduct an investigation.

In 2009, a 41-year-old Taiwanese woman fell off the 11th deck of the 1,990-passenger cruise ship, Sun Princess, which was traveling to Okinawa. The woman did not survive the fall, with Taiwan authorities carrying out an investigation to determine if foul play was involved, per Taiwan News.