Two Cruise Crewmembers Go Overboard at Port of Quebec

Port of Quebec cruise quay (file image via social media)

Published Oct 3, 2019 1:22 PM by Paul Benecki

Two crewmembers of the cruise ship Celebrity Summit were rescued from the waters of the St. Lawrence River on Monday after they allegedly jumped over the side during a call at the Port of Quebec. 

At about 0540 hours on Monday morning, a three-person port security patrol responded to a call for help and spotted a man in the water near Quebec City's cruise terminal. A patrol officer assisted the man out of the water and waited with him until an ambulance arrived, according to a port spokesperson. 

One additional crewmember had also gone over the side, and upon a request from the port, the Quebec Fire Protection Service and the Canadian Coast Guard launched a search. The second individual had drifted with the current, and he was located at about 0700 hours at a position about 2.5 nm to the west of the cruise dock. 

The water temperature in the St. Lawrence was about 55 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday. Both men were wearing floatation vests at the time of rescue, and though they survived both the initial cold water shock and the risk of drowning, they both had to be taken to a hospital for treatment for hypothermia. According to research assembled for Transport Canada, the average hypothermia survival time in 55-degree water is roughly two to four hours.

Celebrity confirmed that the two individuals were employees, and indicated that they "left the vessel without permission" into the water. An investigation into the circumstances of their departure from Celebrity Summit is currently under way. The two crewmembers are believed to be from Zimbabwe and the UAE, respectively, and the Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration Canada are heading the inquiry.   

Celebrity Summit continued on her commercial journey, calling at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Wednesday.