CRUISE TRAGEDY – Friday May 10 2013

– It was meant to be a luxurious, 10-day Pacific Island adventure.
But holiday turned to heartbreak for the family and friends of a young couple who were declared missing yesterday after plunging more than 20m from the mid-deck of the ‘Carnival Spirit’.
A massive helicopter search was conducted last night by NSW Police, assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in the waters surrounding Port Stephens, where it is believed the couple fell.
The man, 30, and his female partner, 26, were with a group of seven family and friends when they failed to disembark yesterday morning.
Police were called and a full search of the boat and CCTV footage revealed the pair had fallen from the mid-deck, which is lined by a 2.5m-high barricade.
Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings said there was still hope the couple might be found alive, adding: “I’ve said to my staff it’s game on and we’re pulling out all the stops to try and find them.
“Staff tell me they may be (alive) so we’re going to push hard. There’s a chance so we’re going to keep looking.”
Detective Hutchings said there were no witnesses to the incident and no life rings were missing from the ship.
The marine search will stretch from Sydney Harbour to Newcastle.
The 292m ‘Carnival Spirit’ began docking permanently in Sydney in October. It holds up to 2680 guests and 1000 crew and is too big to fit under Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Carnival Cruise communications spokesman Peter Taylor said the company was cooperating fully with police.
Mr Taylor said hundreds of CCTV cameras were deployed on all passenger decks on the ship, with infra-red cameras also assisting deckhands monitor the surrounding waters.
It was business as usual for thousands of passengers at Circular Quay, as they queued to board for the next Pacific Islands cruise.
While the cabin occupied by the couple is expected to remain barricaded pending the police finishing inquiries, the ship set sail, on schedule, at 6:30pm – Simon Black & Phil Jacob

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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