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Foreign traveler caught trying to sneak into Japan by climbing down rope from cruise ship

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On Monday, the MSC Bellissima started its latest Japanese voyage, departing the port of Yokohama in the evening and sailing west through the night. The ship, operated by Switzerland’s MSC Cruises, docked in Kobe at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon the following day, and was scheduled to leave for its next stop late that night.

Shortly before 10 p.m., though, Kobe Prefectural police received a call from a witness informing them that someone had fallen from the ship into the sea. A search and rescue team was dispatched, and after arriving on the scene they found the man the witness had seen, who appears to be a French man around 50 years old.

Now, if you’re shocked that a reputable cruise operator cam run such a dangerous ship that passengers are falling off of it even while it’s docked at a modern port with calm waters, it should be pointed out that this wasn’t an accident that occurred while the man wasn’t using the vessel’s facilities in ways they were designed for. As a matter of fact, the man had been purposefully trying to leave the ship…by climbing down a rope so that he could sneak into the country illegally.

As you can see from the above photo of the MSC Bellissima, it’s by no means a little boat. Regardless of what point the man started his descent from, it’s a long way down.

It’s unclear if dropping into the water first and then making his was to shore had been the man’s plan all along or if he’d accidentally fallen from the rope. Though he suffered some scrapes on his hands, he came away from the incident with no major injuries and is reportedly in stable condition.

It’s a baffling series of events for many reasons, not the least of which is that, with the MSC Bellissima starting this cruise from the port of Yokohama, the man ostensibly had to already have entered the country in order to board the ship in the first place, so it would seem that he’d be in possession of a valid passport that would allow entry into Japan under more conventional means. It wasn’t like the night he went down the rope was his last chance to reach Japanese soil either.

After leaving Kobe, the ship’s next port of call is Kochi City, and though that’s followed by a stop at Jeju Island in Korea, after that the cruise ship returns to Japan to dock at Kagoshima City before coming back to Yokohama at the end of the cruise, so it would seem he had at least three more chances to get off the boat in Japan without resorting to stuntman-style tactics.

On the other hand, it could be that the man lacked a proper passport or knew he’d be denied entry into Japan for other reasons, but that just raises the question of why someone in such a position would board a cruise knowing they’d have to sneak back into the county, and apparently was so antsy about the situation that they made the attempt the very next day.

You can bet that those are things that the local immigration authorities, whom the man has been turned over to, will be looking into during their investigation and questioning.

Source: Kobe Shimbun Next, Cruisemapper

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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This is really confusing on many levels, especially since he is European.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

French citizens do not even need a visa to enter Japan for 90 days.

Perhaps this man has a serious criminal record and would have been denied? Or quite possibly has mental issues.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

As the article points out there are a lot of contradictions about the accusation, It would be much more natural to assume the man was just doing something stupid or that the intention was to escape from the cruise for whatever reason.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It seems fairly obvious to me. He received a message from a beautiful girl in Kobe just before he was due to depart. What man wouldn't jump off a ship to meet such a person?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The article does not say so but I'm fairly sure that alcohol was a factor in this incident.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

the man ostensibly had to already have entered the country in order to board the ship in the first place

It would seem more likely that he was a member of the crew. Anyway, the article is poorly researched. Not enough information provided.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Can't the article say immediately if the man was a passenger of the boat.

If so, he would have a valid passport.

By the way, how do Japanese know if he is French if not having showed yet his passport ?

Last but not least, France has many many illegal immigrants to export. Would that be a new way ? (LOL)

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

you don’t see that quite often. Very interesting.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

'Climbing down' is horrible English.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A French man so I assume a romantic rendezvous was an order.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The things a European would do to flee their dystopia

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

He's too old to be one of these dumbass YouTubers. Perhaps, he was trying to fake his death. Hide out in Japan until his family received the life insurance money and sue the cruise liner.

I wonder how much cash he had on them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Toss him over board!


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can only guess he was trying to create an alibis for something illegal he planned to do in Japan, then he'd join up with the cruise ship later to return home. alibi intact.

Or perhaps he forgot something needed for the cruise?

Or perhaps he had a dream of leaving a big ship using a rope?

Who knows?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Imaginations running wild as to motivation...

Illegal entry

Commit a crime

Romantic rendezvous


Is he really French?

No one mentioning the obvious

Tight rope walker down on his luck !

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It would seem more likely that he was a member of the crew. Anyway, the article is poorly researched. Not enough information provided.

Yes. I had to search the page for "crew" to see if it was in the article or if someone had put it in the comments already. Crew members are usually from "developing world" countries and the visa for their passports are much more restricted than tourist visas.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe he is one of those middle eastern migrants with french citizenship

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whatever his motive was, this is one classic case of somebody doing something that is nothing but reckless and




0 ( +0 / -0 )

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