Last week, a Brazilian male crew member on the Wonder of the Seas reportedly ended his life on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship after leaving Port Canaveral. Crew Center stated that the unnamed crew member “apparently died of suicide and left a note before his death along with a video on social media.”
” . . . the crew member requested to sign off to return home due to some related to a poor situation back home after his contract was extended (but) . . . his request was denied. Some crew members said that he also had some back-home issues. The talk amongst crew members is that this might have been the trigger for the alleged suicide. Crew Center has contacted several crew members who have confirmed the death saying that the crew member was working as a galley steward . . .
This tragedy is another sad reminder that mental health professionals are needed on board in order to provide direct support 24/7 for crew members and talk with each one about their concerns, challenges and fears. The mental health and wellbeing of the crew needs to be the main focus among the shipboard management as well.”
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) November 18, 2022
At least twenty-five Royal Caribbean ship employees have gone overboard within the past thirteen years. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the problem of crew members going missing from Royal Caribbean cruise ships without explanation. During a period of less than four years between 2009 and 2013, at least thirteen crew members went over the rails of Royal Caribbean (and subsidiary Celebrity) cruise ships, including the Majesty of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas (twice), Radiance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Summit, and Serenade of the Seas (two). Most of these cases were never investigated by the flag state, which, it seems, could not care less.
The majority of the Royal Caribbean crew members disappeared mysteriously and appeared to have ended their lives intentionally. The last Royal Caribbean ship employee to go overboard was a 27 year old crew member from Poland who disappeared from the Jewel of the Seas off of the coast of Greece in May of 2021. Closed-circuit camera on the cruise ship showed him jumping from the cruise ship.
Before that, a ship employee, reportedly from India, went overboard from the Odyssey of the Seas in April of 2021 as the Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailed south of Cyprus en route to Haifa.
A 35 year-old crew member from India went overboard from the Rhapsody of the Seas in September of 2019.
A Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard from the Majesty of the Seas in January of 2019.
A young Celebrity Cruises officer hung himself on the Celebrity Millennium, on December 6, 2018.
Another Royal Caribbean crew member, a performer, age 20, of the United Kingdom, went overboard from the Harmony of the Seas the day after Christmas of 2018.
A Royal Caribbean crew member disappeared from the Adventure of the Seas at the end of November of 2018.
A crew member went overboard from the Celebrity Reflection in October of 2018.
A Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard in an apparent suicide from the Vision of the Seas in December of 2017.
A Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas in April of 2017.
A Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard from the Independence of the Seas in August of 2014.
A Celebrity crew member disappeared at sea from the Celebrity Constellation in January of 2014.
Royal Caribbean has built its reputation on building super-sized cruise ships like the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas and, most recently, Ion of the Seas. These monsters cost literally billions of dollars to construct. Yet, Royal Caribbean does not employ mental health counselors on its fleet despite the fact that at least twenty-five crew members ended their lives on the ships.
I previously described this sad state of affairs in an article titled Misery Machines and Crew Member Suicides.
Condolences to this unidentified crew member’s family and friends as well as his teammates who he left behind.
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We suggest reading: Is Royal Caribbean Working Its Crew Members to Death?
Photo Credit: Top- Wonder of the Seas – ND44 – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia; Jewel of the Seas – Dave Souza – CC BY-SA 2.5 commons / wikimedia; Royal Caribbean promotional video of the Harmony of the Seas; Oasis of the Seas -Baldwin040 – CC BY-SA 3.0 commons / wikimedia; Vision of the Seas – crew member with red bucket – Bahamas Maritime Authority.