Passenger Falls into Water Trying to Sneak Off Cruise Ship

A man attempting to climb down a cruise ship with a rope fell into the water and was apprehended. Authorities believe he was trying to illegally re-enter Japan while the cruise ship was docked at the Yokohama port.

msc bellissima yokohama japan
MSC Bellissima in Yokohama Port (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

On the evening of April 30, a witness reported seeing a man attempting to climb down MSC Bellissima using a rope. As he descended, he fell some distance before entering the water. The eyewitness notified the police of Kobe Prefecture at around 10 in the evening, prompting them to dispatch a search and rescue team. 

The passenger believed to be a French national in his 50s, swam ashore, where he was discovered. The man was given medical treatment for minor wounds to his hands. Despite putting himself in a precarious situation, he sustained no major injuries.

Police arrested him and placed him under investigation. They suspect he was trying to enter Japan illegally, which the cruise passenger denies. The man claims not to know the legal repercussions of his actions.

Why Did He Climb Down a Rope?

msc bellissima yokohama japan
MSC Bellissima (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

Local authorities believe that the man was trying to sneak into Japan. Still, it’s a perplexing theory, mainly because the passengers had just boarded MSC Bellissima in Yokohama for a 7-night roundtrip cruise around Asia.

Additionally, the gangway was still down, so leaving the ship that way would have been easier. Finally, MSC’s itinerary includes several stops in various Japanese ports, such as Kobe, Kochi City, and Kagoshima, giving him multiple opportunities to leave the vessel and enter Japan.

In terms of size, Bellissima is MSC Cruises’ fifth largest ship. The Meraviglia-class cruise vessel comes in 171,598 gross registered tons, measures over 1,000 feet long, and has 18 decks. No matter where he began his climb down, it would have been a risky and physically taxing feat.

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