Mail Online in the U.K. is reporting on the disappearance of what is described as an "elderly" passenger who was traveling alone on the Balmoral cruise ship operated by Fred Olsen Lines. The story made the news when the cruise ship returned to the port of Southampton after an eight day cruise in the Norwegian fjords. Around 1,000 passengers were detained on the cruise ship while authorities showed photographs of the missing passenger and questioned them whether they had any knowledge about the passenger. The detaining of passengers is somewhat unusual because most cruise lines and investigating agencies let the passengers disembark without ever questioning them. The newspaper article indicated that the passenger was in his late 70's or early 80's and also referenced a "note which was discovered by a cabin stewardess." The passenger was apparently last seen around 9:00 PM on Sunday night, and was discovered missing yesterday morning. Does the presence of a "note" and the fact that the passenger was elderly suggest that he committed suicide? I don't know. What is the height of the rails? Was he over-served alcohol? Where are the CCTV images if the passenger went overboard, voluntarily or involuntarily? We reported on the disappearance of an eighty year old passenger last year from the Balmoral, without explanation. Did the cruise line improve its CCTV capacities following that incident? This incident occurred as the parents of missing Disney Cruise youth counselor Rebecca Coriam appealed to the U.K. Shipping Minister to introduce tougher laws to protect British citizens from crimes at sea, as we mentioned in an article yesterday. Last year, the Balmoral was dubbed the "Cursed Cruise Ship of the High Seas" following a series of norovirus bouts which sickened hundred of passengers and crew. The Balmoral also narrowly averted disaster when it was attacked by pirates last year.
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