What Really Happened Onboard P&O Cruises Australia's Pacific Dawn, Separating Fact From Fiction!
On Thursday the 12th of April 2018 at approximately 16.30pm an unfortunate incident happened on board P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Dawn while on her way back to Brisbane approximately 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia, during a week-long cruise in the Pacific.
There was a man overboard situation that happened, and for many who are seasoned cruisers such as myself who have been on both Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel on numerous occasions and as they are sister ships meaning that they are [identical on the outside] we were quite perplexed to understand the reason why this incident had occurred.
The ship railings on both Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel meet the minimum requirements set out in Maritime law that is enforced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority [ AMSA].
The following should be taken into consideration is:
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority known as [ AMSA] who plays apart in regulating the Maritime industry will make sure that any cruise ship that is based, homeported or visits Australian ports or ports that are in the reach of Australia’s maritime zone comply with all Maritime requirements that it deems necessary to operate safely at sea.
Natasha Schofield has been identified as the woman who went overboard.
P&O Cruises Australia have issued the following statements below.
“P&O Cruises confirmed that Pacific Dawn turned around after an adult female guest was seen to go over the side of the ship while it was at sea approximately 150 nautical miles from New Caledonia. A crew member notified the bridge straight away and the ‘man overboard’ incident response was activated immediately.
In line with this response, Pacific Dawn turned around to follow the course it was on at the time of the incident. Pacific Dawn is currently on a seven night cruise from Brisbane to the South Pacific with scheduled calls to Noumea, Lifou and Port Vila completed.
The ship departed from Brisbane last Saturday for the week long cruise. Relevant maritime search and rescue authorities were notified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the guest and her family at this time.”
Channel 10 footage of a passenger photographing crew on board Pacific Dawn searching for missing lady
An announcement was made by Pacific Dawn's Captain this morning. My deepest condolences to the family of the woman.
“Good morning everyone this is the captain speaking from the bridge.
I have an update for our search and rescue mission over night for one of our guests who fell over the side yesterday afternoon.
It is with a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that we have been unable to locate our guest
We are still in the area of the incident, and the weather conditions with the swell three to four metres high, as you can see outside - the strong wind and choppy seas - made our search extremely challenging.
And sadly despite our continued search through the night we have been unable to find her.
As a result we have now made the extremely difficult decision to continue our journey towards Brisbane.
We have made this decision after seeking advice from the marine investigative authorities of New Caledonia and Australia.
Supplied pictures from aboard P & O Pacific Dawn after a passenger fell overboard
Updated statement from P&O Cruises Australia
"With the deepest sadness, P&O Cruises has confirmed the suspension of Pacific Dawn’s search for the female guest who was seen to go overboard from the ship late yesterday afternoon approximately 150 nautical miles from New Caledonia.
The difficult decision to suspend the search was made only after expert advice that survival after this length of time in difficult sea conditions and after a full night at sea was not considered possible.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the guest’s family at this distressing time. Pacific Dawn had searched throughout the night and into the morning after first light without success. The search, which began immediately after a crew member reported a guest had been seen to go over the side of the ship, was suspended in consultation with maritime rescue authorities.
Pacific Dawn has now resumed her course for Brisbane where preparations are being made for a late arrival on completion of the current seven night crew to the South Pacific. Guests currently onboard Pacific Dawn have been advised of a likely late arrival and guests due to embark on the ship’s next cruise will be updated on boarding arrangements.
P&O Cruises has thanked the media for their sensitivity in reporting the incident."
“Pacific Dawn returned to Brisbane this morning and, prior to arrival at the Portside Cruise Terminal, the Captain thanked disembarking guests for their sensitivity and support for the family who suffered such a devastating loss during the cruise.
The family has been supported on board by senior crew members since the incident and Care-trained staff met the ship on arrival this morning. We have done everything possible to respect and protect the privacy of the family. Counselling by a professional Counsellor who was also on hand today has been offered to guests and crew wanting access to this support.
P&O Cruises is assisting Queensland Police in their inquiries into the incident as the lead authority acting on behalf of the State Coroner. As anticipated, police went on board Pacific Dawn on arrival this morning to begin their inquiries. Allowing the police to determine what happened in this tragic incident is the appropriate course.
We remain concerned that much of the speculation and versions of events given in recent days are not supported by the facts. The police inquiries on behalf of the Coroner will help put the speculation to rest.
With Pacific Dawn’s arrival, we will be able to give police CCTV footage providing an unobstructed view of what happened and portraying an obviously devoted and loving couple. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and hope that they will find comfort in their grief.”
Passengers greet family and friends after disembarking from the Pacific Dawnin Brisbane on Sunday morning. Picture: AAP / John Gass.
The facts of the matter are:
1. There was no freak wave that hit the ship so violently that the woman now identified as Natasha Schofeild accidently fell overboard.
2. The reporting by alleged passengers on board saying that Natasha was sea sick and vomiting over the side of the ship was ill founded.
3. The comments made by some Facebook users in different cruise groups and blogs saying that the husband should be investigated is absolutely appalling and disrespectful to the family involved. For legal reasons I am unable to say which groups or blogs these came from.
4. To those of you from differnt cruise groups and blogs on facebook that speculated and commented on Mrs Schofeild's mental condition and frame of mind, how dare you! Your comments leave alot to be desired by doing this without knowing the full facts! and her state of mind. it's so disrespectful to Mrs Schofeild and her family and friends, some of the comments have been so disgraceful and you should be ashamed of yourselves. I only wish i could name those who have put up such comments.
4. The speculation that was made by some of the Facebook cruise groups and blogs leaves a lot to be desired. Try gathering the facts first before speculating because everybody is watching what you say, because once you send it you can’t take it back. For legal reasons i am unable to say which groups or blogs these came from.
5. The disrespectful media outlets who tried to interview passengers who were disembarking Pacific Dawn after a harrowing 48 hours that they had just endured due to the incident on board. You should be ashamed of yourselves for calling yourself a media outlet.
6. The fact of the matter and what really happened was that “[Mrs Schofield] did take intentional actions and deliberately propell herself overboard the ship,” said Inspector Graham of Queensland police.
The entire incident was captured on security cameras. Inspector Graham had also told reporters he had viewed the footage.
“What I saw was a couple of loving people on the top deck of a cruise ship,” he said.
“I saw them leaning on the rails and I saw the intentional actions of the missing person take two steps back and then propel herself over the railing.
“Her husband tried in vain to grab her when she went over grabbing onto her leg she was too far gone and subsequently she fell.
www.australiancruisingnews.com.au has also learnt that Natasha Schofield had many life changing hypnotherapy session’s weeks before boarding Pacific Dawn.
Please read the following article supplied by: https://www.mouthsofmums.com.au/mum-who-jumped-from-cruise-ship-was-hypnotised-in-recent-weeks/#hkuDSHJVYz2uTkAf.97
*Readers who are in need of support and information can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
Information supplied by: P&O Cruises Australia and www.australiancruisingnews.com.au The HOME Of Australian Cruising!