A car was seen driving off the cliff line of Banzai Cliff late Saturday but rescuers have yet to find a body and there is no word yet if the vehicle’s driver was a tourist or a CNMI resident.
At about 5:50pm Saturday, the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting that a white sports utility vehicle had driven off Banzai Cliff into the sea.
Upon arriving at the scene, DPS officers noticed damage to World War II monuments and car parts around the cliff line. Officers also noticed items that appeared to be clothing and a bag drifting in the current.
DPS then dispatched its impact rescue boat and did a search around the waters, but this was later called off due to rough waters and the darkening light conditions.
Dive teams from DPS and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services continued their the search yesterday morning and, as of 5:40pm, the team was able to spot the SUV underwater. Saipan Tribune learned that DPS and DFEMS were unable to find a body, and were unable to identify if the vehicle was owned by a tour agency or was owned by a resident as of press time.
A video of items floating on the water—some clothing and a bag—surfaced on Facebook and other messaging applications Saturday night.
This incident is the second case of a vehicle driving off Banzai Cliff in two years. Back in 2017, a woman sat by the edge of Banzai Cliff in Marpi, got into her rented car, then drove off the cliff. Police managed to find her body and she was pronounced dead. She was identified to be Jilian He, 22, and was describe to be “a local Chinese female.”