Ernst Bechstein was enjoying his cruise with his wife, Imelda Bechstein on the ‘Sharden’ ferry while traveling from Sardinia, Italy back to their home country of Germany. Until one night Ernst discovered his wife wasn’t next to him in bed. It was presumed she fell overboard and was lost to the sea until they discovered her body still on the ship.


After countless search efforts came up with nothing and no sign of the 74-year-old woman, staff checked the maintenance shaft of the ship. It was here they discovered Imelda, who appeared to have made her way in the dangerous room and had fallen over the ledge.

Ernst acknowledged that his wife did at times become disoriented, but he was angered with how the whole situation came to be. “She should not have been able to enter the engine room area, it should have been curtained off.”


He felt that his wife might have been found alive if the crew would have made the effort to search every room in the beginning instead of claiming that she had fallen overboard so early on in the search. Unfortunately, Ernst may have been right. Autopsy reports indicated that Imelda didn’t die immediately; instead, she passed away that following night.

The autopsy further showed no signs of violence on her body aside from the injuries she sustained from her fall into the shaft.


There is a current investigation regarding the ship’s captain and others that were involved in the search efforts to discover if there was any negligence regarding Imelda and her death. Sadly, her body can’t be returned since it is part of an open investigation.


Ernst yearns for his wife to be returned to him saying, “I want to be able to at least bury my wife. She should finally find her last resting place.”