A cruise line says a woman who vanished from a ship hosting a four-day, non-stop electronic dance party jumped overboard on purpose.
US authorities identified the missing woman as a 24-year-old from South Carolina. The US Coast Guard conducted a major search for her after she disappeared overboard last week from Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl, about 40 kilometres off Cuba.
The ship was hosting the Mad Decent Boat Party, a festival featuring four days of frenzied non-stop electronic dance music.
“If you thought the first Mad Decent Dance party was insane, then get ready to have your mind blown,” the festival website proclaimed.
The ship was sailing from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico on the cruise run by the Los Angeles record label Mad Decent and featuring performances by electronic dance icons Diplo and Skrillex, the music press reported.
“A female guest was observed intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing in the Yucatan Channel,” the cruise line said in a statement, adding that it deployed three rescue boats and notified the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard sent a cutter and an aircraft to help in the search, which was made more difficult by rain and darkness. The woman is still missing, presumed dead.
Music festivals aboard cruise ships are not new, one of the best known being 70000 Tons of Metal, an annual heavy metal music festival at sea operating out of Miami and using Royal Caribbean ships.
Earlier this month, the organisers of what had been described as “Australia’s first ever electronic cruise ship festival”, Sea ‘N Beats, abruptly cancelled the event, citing undisclosed “risk factors”.
Sea ‘N Beats had been scheduled for 5-8 March 2016. Publicity for it on Facebook over the months had spoken of “the ship” while remaining coy about its identity. Photos and deck plans on the site, however, showed P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn.
“The risk factors surrounding the event were ultimately assessed by all parties involved as too great to continue,” the Sea ‘N Beats organisers said. See Risk cited as Aussie cruise ship music festival cancelled
Written by Peter Needham