Imelda Bechstein, Accidental Cruise Passenger Death, Body Found in Tirrenia Ferries Sharden Ventilation Shaft October 30, 2016, Time of Death Unknown.
German citizen Imelda Bechstein, 74 and her husband German Ernst Bechstein, 74 were sailing aboard Tirrenia cruise ferry Sharden on their way back from Sardinia, Italy on October 30, 2016 when she went missing. Two months later her body was found in an air ventilation shaft in a crew area of the ship.
Ernst Bechstein said the last time he saw his wife, they were both lounging on deck chairs soaking up the sun. Ernst Bechstein said he fell asleep and when he woke up his wife was gone. Bechstein reported his wife missing and the Captain ordered the crew to search the ship. After a thorough search of the ship Imelda could not be found. It was presumed she went overboard.
According to Ernst Bechstein, Imelda could sometimes become disorientated and he says she must have wandered into the engine room and toppled into the air ventilation shaft.
Bechstein is alleging that if the crew had carried out a more thorough search “she might still have been alive” today.
For weeks there was speculation that Imelda had been the victim of a crime or had fallen overboard. Now, after an autopsy has been performed, it seems Imelda died the night she disappeared and there is no sign of trauma, other than injuries sustained during the fall into the ventilation shaft. A public prosecutor is holding her body in Genoa, pending a final investigation into her death.
The couple took a Tirrenia ferry Sharden from Porto Torres in Sardinia back to Genoa on the Italian mainland on October 30, 2016. The cruise ferry Sharden can carry up to 2,908 passengers and 850 cars. It has 320 cabins which can accommodate 1,212 passengers, a restaurant, 2 bars and theater.