The owner of Tiffany’s jewelry empire in Turkey disappeared after she mysteriously went overboard on a Norwegian Spirit ship. Let’s explore the details of the incident with Ehline Law and our cruise ship accident attorneys.
The Turkish Tiffany & Co dealer, Dilek Ertek, boarded the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship with her 74-year-old Swiss lover on Papeete Island, French Polynesia. However, all plans came to an abrupt end when she went missing.
On October 26, 2022, Ertek fell into the South Pacific off the coast of Tahiti with her body still not recovered. According to security camera footage, the Turkish jewelry tycoon fell in the dark, cold waters at around 3 AM but what’s concerning is that her 74-year-old boyfriend reported her missing after 20 hours.
Ertek’s son, Gockce Atuk, stated that she had a safe in her cabin where she kept all her jewelry, but following investigations, authorities revealed that the jewelry had gone missing.
Many investigators are scratching their heads over how a 5 foot 1 woman could go over a 3-foot high guardrail on this passenger and cruise ship. The ship captain spoke to Turkish Media, expressing his confusion over how Ertek managed to fall over such a sturdy and high rail.
Upon the family’s request, the police put the unnamed swiss boyfriend under observation and questioned him about the incident. However, they had to let him go after three days when the ship docked in Tahiti due to a lack of evidence.
The Turkish newspaper Sabah spoke to a local law enforcement officer who found it suspicious that the Swiss lover did not notice Ertek was missing, especially if they were staying in the same room. According to the officer, people who do not hear about their friends or family members on cruise ships immediately inform the front desk to make an announcement.
A Norwegian cruise line told the media about the incident stating that the Turkish woman went overboard while the ship was traveling in the Pacific Ocean. The cruise ship reported the incident to the relevant authorities, including the United States Coast Guard, who started a search and rescue operation.
Ertek’s son, Gökçe Atuk, traveled to Tahiti and requested the local authorities to assist in searching for her mother. However, after several days of search efforts, they could not find Ertek and eventually reported that she fell from the 11th floor of the ship.
Dilek Ertek studied at the gemological institute of America, and in 1995, she opened the first tiffany store in Turkey. She was the sole distributor of Turkey’s Tiffany & Co.
On November 14, 2022, the Ertek’s family offered the funeral prayer at the Teşvikiye Mosque in Istanbul, where they placed her picture and flowers in a coffin.
Dilek Ertek’s attorneys believe that the authorities did not search her room correctly and failed to investigate appropriately. The family’s legal team is preparing to file a lawsuit against the cruise ship’s operator.
It is the responsibility of the cruise ship to ensure that its guests are safe and failure to carry out a proper investigation into a missing person is negligence on behalf of the ship’s operator.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one on a cruise ship, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.