Song Of America Crew Member Murdered Aboard Over Gambling Debt

On this day in cruise history –  33 years ago today on  July 8, 1984, Herman Augustus Charles, 28, from Jamaica was working as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ cruise ship Song Of America.

He was gambling with another crew member aboard when he was shot to death. It seems,  there was a dispute over a $10 gambling debt that lead to an argument, and ended in his assailant pulling out a gun.

Why did the crew member have a gun aboard? The most common argument for having a gun aboard is for safety.  According to the NRA, pirates are emboldened by the fact that “vessels are easy targets due to the high level of probability that seamen are unarmed.”

The gun-rights group argues that seafarers should carry firearms for personal protection. More cruise industry murders, the few which have taken place,  can be found on our Cruise Ship Deaths website.

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