“By notifying the US Coast Guard three hours late at 4:00 AM, after the crew member went overboard from the MSC Seaside at 1:00 AM [May 16, 2018], MSC not only ensured that the late search would be unsuccessful but wasted the resources of Coast Guards…,” writes Jim Walker, a Miami-based lawyer, in his award-winning maritime law blog Cruise Law News.
Walker was referring to the recent man overboard incident which rocked the luxury ship MSC Seaside when she sailed from Caribbean Island to Puerto Rico . The casualty was Michael M. Majaba, a 37 year-old Filipino working as head casino technician onboard. (Read: FBI to investigate MSC Seaside MOB incident.)
Three hours after Majaba fell in the water from the seventh deck of his ship, it was only then that MSC Seaside launched a search and alerted the US Coast Guard, the government agency said on this bulletin. Apparently, the response of MSC Seaside didn’t sit well with Walker.
Walker also revealed that unlike other cruise ships, the MSC Seaside lacks automatic man overboard alerting system.
“Waiting three hours to notify the Coast Guard of a person going overboard suggests that the ship did not know the person went overboard because the ship was not equipped with this [automatic man overboard] life-saving technology. The failure to employ the technology not only leads to these type of delays but it results in a huge wasteful expenditure of money by the U.S. government,” the top notch lawyer said.
To recover Majaba’s body, the US Coast Guards deployed one C-130 aircraft, two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforment response boat and the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence. In addition, the oil tanker Rose and passenger ship Carnival Glory were reportedly summoned to help the Coast Guard locate the casualty.
A graduate of Tulane University School Law, the USA Today dubbed Walker as America’s “Top Cruise Lawyer”.
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