Breaking: Man Illegally Enters Country by Climbing off MSC Cruises Ship

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On a certain Tuesday, the 30th of April, 2024, a bizarre incident took place. A man was spotted descending a ship, the MSC Bellissima, using a rope. This audacious descent suggests an attempt at entering Japan illegally while the ship was on a 7-night round trip.

An irony arouse from the event, as the ship had set sail for a round trip starting from Yokohama, Japan. This would imply that the man must have had the legal documents to get into the country in order to have boarded the ship in the first place.

As reported by Japan Today, the incident occurred around 10 p.m. on the same Tuesday night. At this time, the ship was docked in Kobe. The authorities were alerted by a witness who believed a passenger had fallen overboard into the sea which resulted in the dispatch of rescue services.

The man, estimated to be around 50 years old and believed to be French, was promptly found where it was determined that rather than falling, he was trying to deliberately descend from the ship.

This scenario is perplexing since he could have exited the ship via the gangway as it was still docked. It remains uncertain if he intended to climb off the ship completely and slipped into the water, or if he intended to fall into the water.

Besides scrapes on his hands, the man suffered no significant injury. The motivation behind this daring act remains unclear, as does the role (if any) alcohol may have played in his actions. Japanese immigration authorities currently have him in custody and are carrying out a thorough investigation.

The MSC Bellissima offers a variety of Asian travel plans from Yokohama, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Tokyo, Japan, depending on the departure date. Currently, after leaving Yokohama on Monday, April 29, the ship is scheduled to stop at Kobe (April 30), Kochi City (May 1), Jeju Island, Korea (May 3), and Kagoshima (May 4) before returning to Yokohama on Monday, May 6.

Read Also: Two Cruise Passengers Reported Missing in the British Virgin Islands – Was It Deliberate?

The fact that the ship is visiting several ports in Japan makes the man’s behavior even more bizarre, as he would have had multiple opportunities to depart the ship and “miss” returning on time throughout the cruise. While doing so might have caused a missing person alert, it would likely not have led to more serious charges as could be levied now.

This incident is eerily similar to another situation that occurred aboard MSC Bellissima just over a month ago. That situation also involved a foreign national jumping overboard while the ship was docked, attempting to enter the country illegally.

That earlier incident occurred on Thursday, February 1, while the ship was docked in Noha, Japan. The man who jumped overboard into the water was identified as a Turkish national. The man swam ashore but was quickly arrested for immigration violations.

Neither the earlier cruise nor MSC Bellissima‘s current sailing were impacted with any itinerary changes or other delays due to these unusual incidents.

The 171,598-gross-ton, Meraviglia-class ship can welcome 4,500 guests aboard for each sailing at double occupancy, and up to 5,655 travelers when fully booked with all berths filled. She is also home to roughly 1,600 international crew members.

MSC Bellissima offers diverse Asian itineraries from various homeports. She is notable as the first international cruise line to begin homeport operations from mainland China after the pandemic, having set sail from Shanghai for the first time just six weeks ago.

The ship will be offering sailings from the Chinese homeports of Shanghai, Keelung, and Shenzhen throughout the summer months of 2024, before returning to other Asian homeports later in the year.

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