Port Pilot Dies While Boarding the Diamond Princess

May 08, 2023

A port pilot died while boarding the cruise ship Diamond Princess as the vessel was approaching the port of Nagasaki on May 5th. The tragedy happened at around 5:30 am local time when the 69-year-old pilot fell into the sea while climbing the ladder to board the Diamond Princess from a pilot boat, which is a standard procedure before cruise ship enters port and a local pilot takes control of the navigation.

The Diamond Princess crew quickly responded to the incident and deployed a rescue boat to recover the pilot. However, after two hours, he was declared dead shortly after being rescued. The pilot was wearing a life jacket, but he was found unconscious when rescued.

FNN released a video of the rescue, recorded by a cruise ship passenger.

Although the sea was calm, the Japan Coast Guard is investigating the possibility that the pilot boat shook, causing him to fall into the sea while transferring to the cruise ship. According to Japanese media outlets, the pilot was identified as Yoshihiro Osuga, who had more than 15 years of experience as a pilot.

At the time of the incident, the Diamond Princess was sailing an 8-day, round-trip Japan voyage from Yokohama.