Can You Survive Falling Overboard on a Cruise Ship?

By Anna Duncan

Cruise ships are one of the most popular forms of vacation, with millions of people taking them each year. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with travelling on them.

One such risk is falling overboard. The statistics surrounding this are alarming – in 2019 alone, there were 17 overboard deaths reported, and an estimated 10-15 people fall overboard annually.

When someone falls off a cruise ship, it can be difficult for them to survive. There are a few factors that determine whether or not they will make it out alive.

The first is the weather – if the sea is calm, it increases the chances of survival. If there is a swell or strong waves present, however, this can make swimming difficult or even impossible.

The second factor is how quickly they are rescued. Cruise ships have a variety of safety protocols in place to help locate and retrieve any passengers that may have gone overboard. This includes using radar and CCTV to spot anyone who has fallen in the water and dispatching rescue teams as soon as possible.

Another important factor is fitness level – those who are more physically fit will have an easier time swimming and staying afloat than those who are not as used to exercise.


Overall, it is possible to survive after falling off a cruise ship if you are lucky enough to be rescued quickly and you have decent fitness levels. However, it is always best to stay vigilant when travelling on board a cruise ship and follow all safety protocols so that you don’t find yourself in such a situation in the first place.