BREAKING: Person Overboard At Mad Decent Boat Party — USCG, Cuban Gov’t Search Ongoing

FINAL UPDATE, 1:17pm LOCAL: The Mad Decent Boat Party is returning to Miami now, according to a report from Pitchfork. No official word on cancellation.

UPDATE, 11:04am LOCAL: According to several sources onboard, the United States Coast Guard is taking over the search and the ship is not completing its full trip to Cozumel. It is unclear where they are sailing to at present, but it sounds as though the cruise is resuming to some degree and will return to Miami at its scheduled time. Performances are to resume today around noon, but sources onboard note that the demeanor is noticeably sad.

Our hearts go out to all affected.

UPDATE, 9:51am LOCAL: Mad Decent has given their own statement via Biz3, identical to Norwegian Cruise Lines’ initial statement. (h/t @mattmedved)

UPDATE, 11:46pm LOCAL: Norwegian Cruise Lines responded to our request for a statement:

“On Thursday, November 12 during a chartered cruise on Norwegian Pearl, a female guest was observed intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing the Yucatan Channel. The ship’s crew immediately initiated rescue measures, including deploying three rescue boats and notifying the Coast Guard and other relevant authorities. The search for the guest is ongoing. Both the ship and charter company teams are providing support to the family and all impacted guests during this difficult time.”

When asked to clarify reports as to whether the search effort is still being treated as a rescue operation, they responded, “As it says in the statement, the search is continuing.”

UPDATE, 11:16pm LOCAL: There are multiple reports of a tender (retrieval boat) and stretcher being spotted, however a repeated announcement from the ship’s PA that the search is ongoing. Norwegian Cruise Lines has issued a statement that the woman was seen “intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing the Yucatan Channel.” There are now reports of rain and storms in the region. Shows and events aboard the ship have been cancelled since the incident and will remain cancelled until further notice. Artists are also being briefed at this time.

This incident also marks the 87th “man overboard” incident since 2000 — 67 (77%) of those incidents have been fatal. (h/t @dskchk)

UPDATE, 10:35pm LOCAL: Coast Guard aircraft has arrived on scene, per @zethussuen on Twitter.

UPDATE, 10:05pm LOCAL: There are reports from several aboard the ship that the incident may have been “goofing around” gone wrong, and that the incident is accidental in nature. A PA announcement was made by the captain hours earlier, in which those aboard were asked not to “climb from balcony to balcony.”

We can also now report that all of @zethussuen’s tweets have been corroborated as fact by several sources on board the ship. There are also now 6 boats in the search party, a US Coast Guard search-and-rescue plane is 45 minutes away, and that updates will now be coming via the ship’s PA every half-hour on the half-hour.

According to YourEDM, Complex, and myriad sources on Twitter, a woman has fallen or jumped overboard from the Mad Decent Boat Party cruise ship, currently located roughly 22 nautical miles from the coast of Cuba.

The incident occurred around 6:40 pm local time and emergency procedures were implemented immediately, with night falling and visibility dwindling. There were reports of the person being found alive, however these were redacted shortly thereafter — it appears as though this may have been a crew member aiding in the search who was pulled from the water. As of press time of this article, the missing person is still at large. Guests have been confined to their staterooms to conduct a headcount. The ship is scheduled to return to port in Miami on Sunday, 15th November.

Twitter user @zethussuen, whose bio lists him as a Product Designer for Netflix, has been covering the event from the boat. He has reported a number of events that are allegedly being announced via the ship’s PA system, that we are sharing below. We are working to find additional sources to corroborate these claims as fact.

There’s a lot of speculation over how this incident has come to happen — we will refuse to engage in it. However, what is clear is that too many EDM and dance music-related events have death or perceived danger surrounding them. We’ve reached a point where many of us know someone who is “that guy/girl” or who routinely takes their partying to a point of self-harm — and when people are falling off cruise ships and festivals are changing entire operations in response to deaths in connection with our music, we should feel an obligation to probe why this is happening. If it’s part of dance music “code” to look after our own, it’s high time we start doing it. It’s with disbelief to type this, as we watch what might well be another tragedy unfolding.

Our thoughts are with the missing person and those on the ship. We will continue to monitor the story with cautious optimism until it concludes.

Sydney Jones and Paige Plissner contributed to reporting on this piece.

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