While we didn't know it at the time, we had a brush with death two nights ago.
During our passage from Grand Bahama Island to Royal Island, we passed (or were passed by) several ships, including some of the large cruise ships. One of those was the Carnival Elation on it's way from Jacksonville to Nassau. At 2:45 am, she was at her closest to us, a mere 4 miles. While 4 miles may seem like a lot, it isn't when you are out on the sea. In fact, the cruise ships are required to stay a minimum of 2 miles from other vessels, so any closer and one of us would have to turn away. They were catching up to us and passed us at about 2:45 am, at which time they lost a passenger overboard!
Kevin Wellons, 24, of Warner Robins, Georgia went overboard from the 11th deck at 2:45 am. The coincidence is rather freaky. It wasn't until 8:30 the next morning when the ship had docked in Nassau that it was discovered he was missing. A search of the ship and of surveillance video determined he'd fallen overboard. US Coast Guard was notified and they deployed a helicopter and airplane to search the area. Tragically, the search turned up nothing, and was called off Tuesday evening.
I have reached out to Carnival Cruise Lines for more information and will update this article should I hear back.
Here is a NY Times news article about the incident: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/carnival-cruise-ship-passenger-falls-overboard-11th-deck-article-1.2972337