‘My mother could not swim’: Son of passenger who fell overboard cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas
Monday was to have been the last day of their four-day cruise, with Mr Jakesh Sahani and Madam Reeta Sahani on their way back to Singapore from Penang aboard the Spectrum of the Seas.
But sometime in the middle of the night, Mr Jakesh, 70, woke up to find his wife missing from their room.
The retiree tried to locate his 64-year-old wife on the sprawling cruise ship but did not succeed, so he informed the ship’s crew, who later told him the ship’s overboard detection systems had been alerted that something had fallen from the vessel into the Singapore Strait.
Mr Jakesh’s son, Mr Apoorv Sahani, who was not on the cruise, recounted the episode in a phone call with The Straits Times on Monday night.
The 39-year-old architect said his family members, who are from India, are still in the dark about his mother’s current status.
In a flustered voice, he told ST that his mother could not swim, and that his father was made to go through an interview with the police that lasted a few hours.
“We’ve asked to see the CCTV footage, but so far we’ve not received anything yet for us to confirm that it was her. All we know is that the ship’s crew thinks she jumped,” he said.
“Eventually my father was told to get down from the ship because there was another cruise that was going to take place, but we think she may still be on the ship, stuck somewhere.”
Mr Apoorv added: “She was on a holiday enjoying herself and then this whole thing happened. It doesn’t make sense.”
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a statement on Monday night that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Singapore was notified about the incident at about 7.50am.
The passenger was on board the Cyprus-flagged Spectrum of the Seas, and had fallen overboard, although no further details were provided.
“MRCC Singapore is coordinating the search and immediately issued navigational safety broadcast to vessels in the Singapore Strait and vessels in port to keep a lookout for the missing person and report any sightings to MRCC Singapore,” said the statement.
It added that the vessel was berthed earlier in Singapore to support the investigations and had departed at around 4.30pm.
Checks on marine tracking website Marine Traffic showed that it is currently bound for Nha Trang in Vietnam.
In response to queries from ST, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean, which operates the vessel, said the incident was reported to local authorities immediately.
The company declined to comment further, citing the privacy of the guest and their family, but said its team is offering support and assistance to them.
According to cruise tracking website CruiseMapper, Spectrum of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship belonging to the Quantum-Ultra class – a larger, upgraded version of the Quantum-class.
It has 2,137 staterooms and can cater for up to 4,819 passengers, with 16 decks, 18 dining options, four swimming pools and 10 outdoor jacuzzis.