​Soccer Fan Cruise Ship: Man Jumps Ship In Waters

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June 20, 2021

A soccer fan fell from the MSC Divina cruise ship Wednesday, about 30 miles off the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The vessel, with 3,5000 World Cup fans onboard, was leaving the coastal city of Fortaleza.

Officials have not said how the man went overboard, though witnesses interviewed by Televisa said he had apparently jumped, according to the Examiner. “It does seem, based on witness reports, that heavy drinking had been involved prior to the man’s disappearance,” the site said. Both Mexican officials and search crews continue to search for the missing man.

Earlier in the day, the Mexican soccer team held Brazil to a 0-0 draw to leave both sides poised to reach the last 16. Chartered by a Mexican travel agency, the vessel was on its way to Recife where Mexico play Croatia in their final Group A game, MSC Cruises said in a statement.

“Immediately after we were notified by the cruise, we sent a rescue ship to the area, but so far we have not found the passenger,” a spokeswoman for the regional navy command told Reuters. “He fell in high seas, deep waters.”

MSC did not release the name of the soccer fan or how the passenger fell off the cruise ship. Mexican officials say the Brazilian navy is searching for the man. The country’s ambassador to Brazil confirms that he is missing. Ambassador Beatriz Paredes says the man’s name has not been released.

The company that operates the vessel, MSC Cruises, said in a statement that it notified Brazilian authorities immediately after the incident at 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

Many cruise ships are entertaining soccer fans during their sailings. Onboard guests can catch the game on in-cabin TVs tuned to sports channels, in sports bars and sometimes even on giant screens in the theater or outdoors by the pool. Some ships tie-in to major sports events while others gather fans of a particular team or sport.