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Man overboard raises questions about Canadian cruise ship

A Canadian party cruise ship didn’t quickly help a man who fell overboard Saturday night on Lake Ontario, a passenger on the cruise said.

A Canadian party cruise ship didn’t quickly help a man who fell overboard Saturday night on Lake Ontario, a passenger on the cruise said.

Keith White, 34, fell off the Mariposa Cruises ship Northern Spirit. Police described the search as a recovery mission on Monday afternoon.

CBC News spoke with Neetha Godara, who said she was on the cruise that night. Godara said she could clearly see the man in the water waving his arms, but staff did not throw lifesaving equipment early enough to him and the boat kept moving away from him instead of stopping. The ship was carrying more than 400 guests and had 19 staff members and 10 security personnel aboard.

"A big boat doesn't stop on a dime," Mariposa Cruises president and CEO Jim Nicholson, said.

White's family released a statement Monday that said the family is confused about how White, who they say is a certified lifeguard, ended up in the water.

"We are confused about how Keith could fall off a ship in daylight, surface alert and continue to swim, and yet it appears nothing was done to assist him in a timely manner," the statement said. "Keith was a very healthy, fit man and was a certified lifeguard, and we look forward to the investigation determining how his location in the water was lost so quickly in calm water in daylight."

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