Pacific Dawn accidents and incidents

Pacific Dawn cruise ship
Rating:

Former names
Regal Princess

Length (LOA)
244 m / 801 ft

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CruiseMapper's Pacific Dawn cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1915-passenger vessel owned by P&O Cruises. Our Pacific Dawn accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, Norovirus, etc.

  • former names: Regal Princess (1991-2007)
  • ship groundings – 2006 (Amazon River, Brazil), 2007 (Huatulco, Mexico)
  • propulsion/power loss – 2010
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) – 2003 (301 / 45), 2004 (47 / 7), 2006 (75 / 5), 2007 (69 / 8), 2009 (4 / swine flu)
  • deaths - overboard (2018)
  • injuries/crimes – overboard/rescued (2009), 2016 (bus crash in Port Vila Vanuatu)

Previously, the vessel was operated under the names Regal Princess (1991-2007 by Princess Cruises) and Pacific Dawn (since 2007). The ship was ordered by and constructed for the company Sitmar Cruises. After Sitmar’s acquisition by P&O Group, the vessel (being under construction) was transferred to Princess Cruises (P&O's subsidiary company).

The vessel’s flag-state (registry) was changed in 1991 (from Palermo Italy to Monrovia Liberia), in 2000 (to Hamilton Bermuda) and in 2007 (to London UK).

As Regal Princess, the ship operated on Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale FL (in the winter) and Alaskan cruises from Vancouver BC Canada (in the summer), with Panama Canal repositioning transits.

DateAccident
  12 April 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 12, 2018, at ~4 pm, a 47 year-old female passenger was reported overboard. The ship was in Coral Sea, en-route from Port Vila (Vanuatu) back to homeport Brisbane (QLD Australia). It immediately turned around and started a search and rescue operation in adverse weather conditions (3-to-4-meter swells and high winds up to 55 kph / 35 mph). New Caledonian and Australian maritime authorities issued a distress call for nearby vessels to assist the liner, as the accident happened in shared between both countries sea zone.

The woman (Natasha Schofield, from Brisbane) went overboard when the liner was approx 300 km / 185 ml west of New Caledonia. Reportedly,  while at open deck, she felt seasick and leaned over the railing to vomit, but lost footing and fell overboard - allegedly "thrown overboard" by a rogue wave.

However, when the CCTV footage was reviewed, it showed the woman didn't accidentally fall. She was talking to her husband on an open deck, then deliberately jumped off the ship. As she went over the railing, her husband tried to grab her by the legs, but it was too late. On April 13, at 7:30 am the search was called off. The body was never found.

The accident occurred on 7-day "Pacific Island Hopper Cruise" (itinerary April 7-14) roundtrip from Brisbane to New Caledonia (Noumea, Lifou Island) and Vanuatu (Port Vila).

  20 June 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

On June 20, 2016, an 11-year-old male passenger (of Australian origin) was reported in critical condition after a shore excursion accident. The boy was injured in a head-on bus crash in Port Villa (Vanuatu). Another 10 (out of 12) Australian cruise ship tourists were also seriously injured during the collision. All injured passengers were airlifted to Brisbane (Australia) and Noumea (New Caledonia) to receive urgent medical treatment. The bush crash killed 2 locals (Ni-Vanuatu people).

Due to the incident, the ship missed its next call port Mystery Island in order to arrive as scheduled back in Brisbane. The ship was on 11-day South Pacific Islands cruise (itinerary June 14-25) from homeport Brisbane to Champagne Bay, Pentecost Island, Vila, Mystery Island (skipped), Isle of Pines.

  10 April 2010Propulsion / Power Loss

On April 10, 2010, while on the river, approaching Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge, the vessel lost all power (propulsion). The assisting pilot and 2 tugboats brought it to a full stop within just 230 ft (70 m) of the newly built 6-lane bridge (2nd structure). Then the ship was towed back to Portside Wharf. The investigation determined the power failure was due to a blown fuse caused by a saltwater leak.

  May 2009Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

On May 25, 2009, after docking in Sydney Harbour, the ship reported a total of 170 passengers (out of 2000) with flu-like symptoms. Among the infected were two 5-year-old boys tested positive for H1N1 (Swine flu virus). On the next day, another 14 passengers were tested positive with Swine flu. NSW Health authorities ordered all passengers to stay for 7 days locked at home (self-imposed quarantine).

Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.

  13 January 2009Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On January 13, 2009, an Australian news media reported a 22-year-old male passenger jumped overboard. The incident occurred at !5 am, while the ship was approx 20 ml (30 km) off Port Vila, Vanuatu. The young man (reportedly drunk) was successfully rescued within ~45 min. His jumping was seen by a staff member and the alarm was raised. The vessel was cruising at half-speed, but was able to stop and then use its bow thrusters to turn around (without having to complete a loop to turn around).

  March 2007Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In March 2007, CDC reported on itinerary March 13-26, a Norovirus outbreak affecting 69 passengers (out of of 1504, or 4,6%) and 8 crew (out of 680, or 1,2%). The ship was on 12-day Panama Canal transition cruise from South America to Caribbean (Lima Peru to San Juan Puerto Rico).

  18 February 2007Ship Grounding

(MS Regal Princess) On February 18, 2007, while on a Panama Canal transition cruise and after a short stop at call port Huatulco Mexico the vessel ran aground. The accident was due to high winds causing it to list 5 degrees starboard and make contact with the seabed portside, while backing out of Huatulco Harbor.

The grounding damaged one of the ballast tanks. The ship soon freed itself and continued to Acapulco Mexico at reduced speed and severely listing to starboard. In Acapulco, the current cruise was cancelled and all passengers were flown home.

The next 2 scheduled itineraries (departures Feb 21 and March 1) were also cancelled due to the needed drydock repairs. The ship left Acapulco on Feb 22. The next scheduled cruise was on March 13 (itinerary from Lima Peru to San Juan Puerto Rico).

  December 2006Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In December 2006, CDC reported on itinerary Dec 7 to 27, a Norovirus outbreak affecting 75 passengers (out of 1479, or 4,2%) and 5 crew (out of 678, or 0,1%). The ship was on 20-day Panama Canal cruise from San Juan Puerto Rico (itinerary December 7-27).

  15 April 2006Ship Grounding

(MS Regal Princess) On April 15, 2006, while navigating on Amazon River (cruise from Fort Lauderdale Florida to Manaus Brazil), the ship ran aground / stuck on a sandbar. It was freed after ~1,5 hours. To free the vessel, the crew had to empty the onboard swimming pools and to dump some of the greywater and ballast water into the river.

  September 2004Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In September 2004, CDC reported a Norovirus outbreak infecting 47 passengers (out of 1537, or 3,1%) and 7 crew (out of 680, or 1%).

  September 2003Cruise Illness / Norovirus Outbreaks

(MS Regal Princess) In September 2003, CDC reported on itinerary Aug 18 to Sept 2, an epidemic Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 301 passengers (out of 1557, or 19,3%) and 45 crew (out of 687, or 6,6%). All sick suffered from Noro virus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps) and were quarantined to their cabins for 48 hours.

The ship was on 16-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Europe to USA (Copenhagen to NYC New York). It arrived in NYC 2 days early after missing 2 scheduled call ports in Greenland and Newfoundland Canada.

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