Indian woman falls to death from Singapore cruise ship

The 64-yeer-old had been missing and a search was underway after cruise operators reported a fall in the Strait of Malacca

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A 64-year-old Indian woman who went missing from a cruise ship in the Strait of Malacca, has now been pronounced dead.

Reeta Sahani who was onboard the Spectrum of the Seas was reported missing by her husband Jakesh Sahani, 70, sometime in the middle of the night, The Strait Times reported.

The cruise ship was on its way back to Singapore from Penang, an island off the Malay Peninsula.

On the last day of the four-day cruise on Monday, a worried Jakesh informed the ship’s crew that he was unable to locate his wife.

The crew told him later that the ship’s overboard detection systems had been alerted that something had fallen from the vessel into the Singapore Strait – a 113 km-long channel between the Strait of Malacca in the west and the South China Sea in the east.

The couple’s son, Apoorv Sahani who was not on the cruise, told The Straits Times that the family was in the dark about his mother’s current status.

He said his mother could not swim, and that his father was made to go through an interview with the police that lasted a few hours.

“We’ve asked to see the CCTV footage, but so far we’ve not received anything yet for us to confirm that it was her. All we know is that the ship’s crew thinks she jumped,” Apoorv told the newspaper.

“Eventually my father was told to get off from the ship because there was another cruise that was going to take place, but we think she may still be on the ship, stuck somewhere,” he said.

He then sought help from India’s Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of External Affairs after he claimed that the cruise company is “washing their hands off”.

India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, the Indian High Commission in Singapore and Royal Caribbean’s Indian offices (which operates the vessel), all chipped in to help the family.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Singapore has been notified about the cruise ship incident.

“MRCC Singapore is coordinating the search and immediately issued navigational safety broadcast to vessels in the Singapore Strait and vessels in port to keep a lookout for the missing person and report any sightings to MRCC Singapore,” the statement read.

The ship then departed on its next cruise.

A spokesman for Royal Caribbean told The Times that the cruise ship incident was reported to local authorities immediately.

The company didn’t comment further, citing the privacy of the guest and their family, but said its team is offering support and assistance to them.

Mr Sahani in an update later informed that his mother had died and after relentless efforts, the cruise liner shared the surveillance footage and a search is underway for the body.

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