The Good, the Bad, and the Not Too Smart Page 5

The Good, the Bad, and the Not Too Smart

Part 5: Adrift for 12 Hours

Elizabeth Ginns Britten — February 2004


Illustration: Brian Raszka
 More of this Feature

• Good Fortune
• Where There’s Lint, There’s Fire
• Leap for Life
• Losing More than Sleep
• Adrift for 12 Hours

 Related Resources
• Feature Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Professional Mariner

Imagine falling overboard, floating around aimlessly in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just waiting to be dinner for a toothy shark or some other nasty critter lurking below the surface. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, it was reality for a 24-year-old cabin attendant who, on the night of March 4, 2002, fell from the railing on a fifth-floor deck of the SS Norway, a 1,035-foot cruise ship that’s part of Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.

The accident occurred just north of the Turks and Caicos while SS Norway was en route from Miami to St. Martin. The woman was reportedly sitting backwards on a railing with her feet on a bench when she fell 40 feet to the water below.

As the story goes, nobody saw her fall, but as soon as crew members noticed her missing, the ship broadcasted a man-overboard call. Upon receiving it, the U.S. Coast Guard deployed two C-130 helicopters to help with the search and developed a pattern based on current, wind, and tide information.

Miraculously, the woman—a veritable needle in a haystack—was eventually rescued only about 4 NM west of the ship’s route, some 12 hours after falling overboard.

For more “Maritime Casualties” and for more information about Professional Mariner, visit the publication’s Web site at

Previous page > Part 4: Losing More Than Sleep > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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