Planning your first cruise holiday but worried about falling overboard? Well you needn’t. Since 2000, reports say roughly 300 people on cruise ships have fallen overboard. There were 17 cases reported in 2017 and so far in 2018, there have been five.
Tragic for those involved but when you consider that more than 20 million people take cruises each year then, all things considered, a fear of going overboard shouldn’t be used as an excuse not take a cruise.
Of course cruise lines are aware of these concerns and take strenuous steps to prevent them from happening. High railings on public decks prevent passengers from getting blown or swept off accidentally, and security cameras record what’s going on in public places.
Overboard incidents are usually down to reckless or deliberate accidents induced by drunkenness so cruise ship bartenders are trained to see when someone has had too much to drink and, like their colleagues on land, will stop serving them. Cruise ships also have on-board physicians and security officers to monitor people who might be at risk.
Of course given the age profile of many cruise passengers, deaths do occur onboard but again these are relatively rare, all things considered. In fact, the odds of dying on a cruise ship are roughly 1 in 6.25 million. It’s much more dangerous to drive in a car, where the odds of dying in a crash are about 1 in 645.
The biggest risk to your safety on a cruise ship is not falling off it, its the spread of diseases. Contact with ship railing, bathroom doors, and open food buffets can quickly spread contagious viruses like norovirus, which plagued hundreds aboard a Royal Caribbean International cruise in 2014. But here again, cruise companies have worked hard in this area and most routinely sanitise railings, handles, and other objects with virus-killing alcohol.
Still not convinced? Well consider a river cruise instead, as, in terms of falling overboard, river cruises are far safer than their open water counterparts. River ships are smaller than traditional ocean liners, so the chances of a deadly fall are slimmer and as river cruises go on much tamer waters, and sail closer to the shore then your chances of survival are much higher.
But consider this fact too. Out of all the holiday options out there, cruise ships are still among the safest. Heli-skiing? Now that’s another matter.