UPDATE: Cruise ship passenger found dead in Strait

Dave Stewart
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The Maasdam leaves Charlottetown Tuesday afternoon. Guardian photo


A passenger aboard the cruise ship Maasdam is dead as an investigation is underway to find out how he ended up in the Northuberland Strait.

In a statement issued from Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, Holland America Line says it's "thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

"On October 4, 2011, shortly after arriving in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, a 75-year-old male guest aboard ms Maasdam was reported missing by his wife at approximately 8:12 a.m. local time," said the statement. "The ship immediately began a ship-wide search and did not locate the guest."

The ship had departed Montreal on Oct. 1 for a seven-day Canada/New England cruise to Boston.

"Per marine regulation and protocol, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and local law enforcement authorities were also contacted with all known information and the ship’s earlier course," said the statement from Holland America.

"The Sydney, Nova Scotia, branch of (the Coast Guard) launched a search along the route the ship transited," said the statement. "The body was discovered by a local fisherman and positively identified at 11:00 a.m. local time.

"We continue to work closely with authorities regarding the incident."

The body was brought to shore at Abram-Village.

There was speculation that the Maasdam would spend the night in Charlottetown due to the forecasted storm, but it left port as scheduled around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

An autopsy has been ordered.

"Holland America Line operates a comprehensive program to ensure the safety and security of its guests and ship personnel," concluded the statement. "Flagged in the Netherlands, all ships meet the stringent Dutch, United States, and international standards for safety and security. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority."


Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Northumberland, Prince Edward Island, Abram-Village Prince

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