Woman on Cruise Ship, Who Was Saved After Falling Overboard in Dramatic Helicopter Rescue, Dies in Hospital

A woman who was rescued after falling off a cruise ship in Norway has died in the hospital, despite receiving emergency medical care.

The unnamed female passenger, who was reportedly in her 40s, died within hours of being rescued, according to Norwegian newspaper VG.

The traveler went overboard from the MSC Meraviglia on Friday afternoon at around 1 p.m., midway between Norway and Denmark. The vessel was on its way to the Norwegian port of Flam in the southwest of the country, in a region famous for its fjords. The ship had departed Kiel in Germany, to which it returned following Friday's incident.

Emergency services scrambled to respond, and a Danish air force helicopter picked the woman out of the waters around 3 p.m. She was then flown to the Danish city of Aalborg for treatment. According to Kieler Nachrichten, six ships were also involved in the search, including a German freighter, a yacht and a fishing vessel.

According to Cruise Law News, the 6,000-person capacity Meraviglia is outfitted with a state-of-the-art overboard system, through which the ship's security officers can better keep track in case passenger do fall off the vessel for whatever reason. MSC Cruises, which operates the Meraviglia, said its system is 97 percent effective.

But though the passenger—a German citizen VG reported—was located and rescued, she later died in hospital in Aalborg. Claus Elberth, an officer at the Danish Defense Operations Center, said the woman received life-saving first aid on the helicopter on the way to the hospital.

A video published by German tabloid Bild showed the dramatic moments as the overboard announcement was sounded over the Meraviglia's speakers. Passengers could be seen peering over the ship's railways as the vessel slowed to a stop and staff began responding.

Once the passenger was found, the ship's staff informed passengers that the woman had suffered serious injuries from the fall and the cold water. Bild said the water was colder than 54 degrees when the passenger fell from the ship.

This is the second incident involving the Meraviglia in less than a week. Last weekend, a woman had to be taken off the ship by a helicopter after falling unwell. She was taken to a hospital in Copenhagen for treatment.

According to National Geographic, as of mid-2018 some 300 people had fallen overboard from cruise ships since 2000. Such incidents remain extremely rare considering that around 20 million people go on cruises each year.

Cruise ship, woman, rescued, overboard, dies, hospital
This file photo shows the MSC Meraviglia on the Tagus River out of harbor on October 1, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Getty