In a startling incident on February 1, a man was arrested after he jumped from the MSC Cruises’ MSC Bellissima and swam ashore at the port of Naha, Japan. The cruise ship was docked as part of its Asia itinerary, making port visits in Japan and China.
Authorities quickly responded and identified the man as Duman Alper, a Turkish national. Alper was apprehended on suspicions of illegal landing, a violation of the Immigration Control Act, as reported by NHK.
The sequence of events unfolded in the evening, around 10 p.m., when Alper deliberately went overboard for unknown reasons. The ship’s crew promptly activated emergency procedures, and local authorities initiated search and rescue operations.
Alper managed to swim to the quay, where he was found and subsequently arrested.
Despite the arrest, Alper denies any wrongdoing, claiming he was unaware that his actions constituted illegal entry into the country. Authorities have not disclosed whether the man was a passenger or crew member of the MSC Bellissima is ongoing, and his motives remain unclear.
While distressing, this man overboard incident on a cruise ship did not impact the ship’s itinerary. MSC Bellissima continues on its scheduled journey uninterrupted, visiting remarkable destinations such as Ishigakijima Island and Keelung.
MSC Bellissima, a Meraviglia-class ship launched in March 2019, boasts a capacity for 5,655 people. The vessel currently offers various Asian sailing with calls at prominent ports like Keelung, Naha, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Yokohama.
The man overboard incident highlights the challenges and unexpected situations cruise lines occasionally face, underscoring the importance of preparedness and swift action in ensuring the safety and legality of all aboard.