Missing cruise passenger is 64-year-old woman on holiday with husband: ST report

The son of the missing woman said she cannot swim.

Fiona Tan | August 01, 2023, 01:57 PM

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More details have emerged after a passenger was reported to have fallen overboard a Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) wrote a media statement on Jul. 31, 2023 night stating that a Spectrum of the Seas cruise passenger had fallen overboard.

Woman, 64, on holiday went missing

The Straits Times (ST) reported on the same day that a 64-year-old woman named Reeta Sahani had gone missing.

Reeta was on board the Royal Caribbean cruise with her 70-year-old retiree husband Jakesh Sahan.

The couple's 39-year-old son Apoorv Sahani told ST said his parents were on the cruise for a four-day vacation.

It was their last day and they were on their way back from Penang to Singapore.

Apoorv, who was not on the cruise, said Jakesh realised Reeta was not in their room sometime in the middle of the night and went looking for her on the cruise ship.

He said his father alerted the ship's crew after he could not find his wife.

Son says incident does not make sense

The older man later learnt from the crew that the ship's overboard detection systems had been alerted that something had fallen from the cruise.

Apoorv told ST that the ship’s crew thinks that his mother jumped from the ship.

However, he said the whole thing does not make sense.

He said he has requested to see the CCTV footage and added that he has not received anything that confirms that his mother was the passenger that fell overboard.

Apoorv thinks that his mother is still on the ship.

He said his mother was "enjoying herself" while on the cruise, and could not swim.

ST reported Apoorv saying that his father was made to go through an interview with the police that lasted a few hours.

He said his father was told to disembark from the ship eventually as there was another cruise going to take place.

Passengers were apparently unaware

According to CNA, passengers on the cruise apparently did not know that a passenger had fallen overboard the ship until the news broke on Jul. 31 night.

Some of the passengers told CNA that there were a few announcements paging for a woman to report to guest services sometime between 5:30am and 6:30am earlier that morning.

The passengers disembarked from the ship after breakfast on Jul. 31 morning as scheduled.

MPA said in its initial statement at 9pm on Jul. 31 that the ship was berthed in Singapore and supporting with investigations.

It added that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was alerted to the incident at 7:50am on that day and was conducting search efforts.

Ship left Singapore at 4:30pm on Jul. 31

In an update at 11pm on Jul. 31, MPA said the cruise had left Singapore at 4:30pm on Jul. 31.

Royal Caribbean International told Mothership that the Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship had sailed as scheduled on Jul. 31 evening after it had been "cleared by authorities".

According to online cruise tracking websites, the Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship departed Singapore on Jul 31 evening and is en route to Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Royal Caribbean International said the shipboard team is working with local authorities, and its care team is offering assistance and support to the family.

It added: "Out of privacy for the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share."

Mothership has reached out to MPA for comment.

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Top image from MEYER WERFT website