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64-Year-Old Indian Woman Dies After Jumping From Singapore Cruise

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Gursharan Bhalla
Updated on Aug 02, 2023, 14:54 IST- 5 min read -67 Shares

A 64-year-old Indian woman on board a cruise ship sailing through the Strait of Singapore from Penang, the northern island state of Peninsular Malaysia, has died, her family said on Tuesday, a day after she was reported "missing".

Reeta Sahani's family had sought help from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) after they accused the cruise company of "washing their hands off".


What happened?

Reeta and her husband, Jakesh Sahani, were travelling on the Spectrum of the Seas cruise operated by Royal Caribbean. They were returning to Singapore from Penang on Monday, the last day of their four-day cruise. 

Jakesh, 70, woke up to discover that his wife was missing from their room, according to a report by The Straits Times. Despite his efforts, the retiree could not locate his wife on the sprawling cruise ship.

Subsequently, he informed the ship's crew about the situation. They, in turn, told him that the ship's overboard detection systems had been activated, indicating that something had fallen from the vessel into the Singapore Strait. The Singapore Strait is a 113 km-long, 19 km-wide strait between the Strait of Malacca in the west and the South China Sea in the east.

Family cries foul

In a tweet, Jakesh's son, Apoorv Sahani, who wasn't on the cruise in a tweet stated that while the cruise staff claimed that she jumped, they have not shown them any footage and are "washing their hands off" from the matter.

He earlier said the crew informed him that his mother jumped off the ship and claimed that the team have not shown any surveillance footage and did not even carry out any rescue operation to locate his mother and even off-boarded his father.

“She was on a holiday enjoying herself and then this whole thing happened. It does not make sense," he added.  

"Eventually, my father was told to get down 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," Sahani told the Strait Times. Sahani said his mother could not swim, and the cops interviewed his father for hours.

He accused the company of being "inhumane" and requested urgent help from the Indian government.

Indian govt's response

The Indian High Commission, in a series of tweets, said it has been in "constant touch with the Sahani family since the news of the unfortunate incident reached us". It is also in close contact with Singaporean authorities to address related issues and is facilitating legal procedures.

The High Commission said it has also contacted the India head of the Royal Caribbean cruise company. "We remain fully committed to supporting the family in this testing time," it said.

Recent update

In a Tuesday evening update, Apoorv shared, the cruise finally shared the footage and "unfortunately, we have learned that my mother has passed away." "Thank you for showing your overwhelming support in this time of distress for my family & I will forever be grateful," he said.

He continued, "Would request you guys to give us some privacy as we mourn her loss. Ironically, today is also her birthday."

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