2018 Top 50 Most Viewed Cruise Ship Events News Deaths Lawsuits Overboard Arrests – 2018 was an incredible year for the cruise industry, both good and bad. For the Cruise Ship Wave Network, it ended on Friday, December 28 on a high note with a phone call from one of our visitors.
Friday, we were contacted by one of passenger Raymond Walter Owens’ family members to assist on a death which took place back in October 2011 on ‘some’ cruise ship. The relative acknowledged at the start, with seven years having passed since the family member died during a cruise dive excursion, the odds were pretty much against us learning anything new. But, we stand behind our motto Cruise Bruise Investigates, and wanted to help our visitor finally get closure.
Now, thanks to our work, the visitor may retrace the voyage (hopefully on the same ship), offer a memorial death sea token to Poseidon and move on with living life at peace with closure at last. This case has documented to us, that suffering and loss are a difficult process and everyone has their own timeline for recovery.
In 2018, we moved our office ahead of Hurricane Florence from east coast Myrtle Beach to west coast Seattle, a distance of 2,986 miles. Culture-wise, it has become a huge transition and a world of difference – like night and day. We’ve gained access to more popular cruise ports within a one day drive, including San Francisco, Astoria and Seattle in the U.S. and Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Now, there is an Alaskan cruise in our future 🙂
We upgraded our nineteen cruise ship trackers and launched 23 live streaming camera websites. Along the way, we’ve added 58 cases to the Cruise Ship Deaths website, bringing the total to 728 featured cases.
During the past year, we’ve covered thirteen overboard (into the sea) deaths in addition to those who died aboard. The good news is, there were no major mass casualty port deaths during cruises, unlike 2017.
As you can see from the calendar graphic, January, was by far the worst month at sea. The highlights: Right out the gate, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines raised the automatic gratuity, Discovery Channel Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died aboard from a drug overdose, a Carnival Magic passenger was arrested for false imprisonment of another passenger, an Army Deserter was arrested aboard Carnival Triumph, the FBI charged a passenger aboard Carnival Elation with murder, a Norwegian Escape crew was caught smuggling a kilogram of cocaine, one person died during a casino cruise shuttle explosion, a Carnival Elation passenger died after falling from deck 14 to deck 11, MV Butiraoi catamaran ferry sunk with 50 aboard and a Freedom of the Seas crew filed a medical disability lawsuit.
With the addition of six cruise ship deaths (including a hanging) in December, we conclude our work for 2018.
2018 Top 50 Most Viewed Cruise Ship Events News Deaths Lawsuits Overboard Arrests
UK Dancer Vocalist Crew Missing Overboard Harmony of the Seas – December 25, 2018, Arron Hough, 20, from London, United Kingdom was a crew member dancer/vocalist aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship Harmony of the Seas, who was lost at sea in the Caribbean on Christmas Day.
Carnival Fantasy Passenger Overboard Near Progreso Mexico – December 16, 2018, passenger Luke Renner, 22, from Johns Creek, Georgia deliberately jumped off Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Fantasy. Renner who is on the Autism Spectrum, was joined by nine of his friends and three chaperones on the ship. Renner climbed over a ship’s deck rail, going overboard during the cruise from Mobile, Alabama to the western Caribbean.
Carnival Victory Cruise Passenger Thomas McElhany Overboard – December 14, 2018, Thomas McElhany, 26, went overboard from Carnival Cruise Lines’ ship Carnival Victory in the early morning hours. Carnival Victory was located approximately 35 miles south of Islamorada, when Thomas McElhany went overboard.
Celebrity Edge Godmother Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai – December 13, 2018, twenty-one-year-old Pakistani founder and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, created Malala Fund. Malala Fund invests in education programs to help girls go to school and reach their full potential. On October 9, 2012, Yousafzai and two other girls were shot while riding on a school bus by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism; the gunman fled the scene.
Norwegian Cruise Line Not Liable Passenger Oliver Caron Injuries – December 6, 2018, The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Canadian Oliver Caron, who had filed a personal injury against Norwegian Cruise Line. Caron alleged that he was injured three-and-a half years prior while Norwegian Star was sailing in the Baltic. Caron had trespassed and was injured in a crew area of the ship on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.
Celebrity Millennium Officer Hanging Death – December 6, 2018, Anton Ilichev from Kherson, Ukraine, a suite manager aboard Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Millennium, was allegedly found hanging in his cabin’s bathroom and was declared dead by the medical staff.
Celebrity Edge First Cruise Ship Getting Biometric Passenger Boarding – November 27, 2018, Los Gatos, California company Tascent Inc announced a new contract with Royal Caribbean International (RCI) to supply their cruise ships with a biometric solution utilizing face recognition to streamline the check-in and boarding process for their passengers.
Royal Princess Cruise Ship Murder Investigation Underway – November 13, 2018, Almarosa Tenorio, 52, who was a teacher from Spanish Fort, Alabama. Tenorio was traveling with her husband in cabin M421, an inside cabin on Marina Deck 15. A male passenger was allegedly arrested after other passengers told Aruban investigators the couple had been heard arguing around 0400 hours and he was seen choking the woman, then pushing her over the railing.
Bachelor Party Groom Falls To Death Aboard Cruise Ship Grand Classica – October 19, 2018, Christopher McGrory, 29, Collateral Analyst II at Wells Fargo in Fernandina Beach was enjoying his wedding bachelor party aboard Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line cruise ship Grand Classica, heading from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport in the Bahamas when he fell to a lower deck aboard the cruise ship.
Cruise Ship Passenger Daniel Kueblboeck Overboard AIDAluna – September 9, 2018, Daniel Kueblboeck, 33, from Hutthurm, Lower Bavaria, Germany, who was a German pop-singer and actor, was reported missing after going overboard from AIDA Cruises ship AIDAluna, while the cruise ship was positioned off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
Cruise Ship Pacific Princess Rescues Crew After Fishing Boat Sinks – August 25, 2018, a coast guard helicopter was searching the water Saturday night for two missing crew members from a fishing boat that authorities said had capsized. The fishing boat sank about 25 miles north east of Great Yarmouth. Pacific Princess rescued three men in a lifeboat who had sent up a flare, according to an Associated Press journalist aboard the cruise ship.
Expedition Cruise Ship Grounding Kugaaruk Nunavut – August 24, 2018, One Ocean Expeditions’ cruise ship Akademik Ioffe ran aground in the Gulf of Boothia near Kugaaruk, Nunavut. There were a total of 162 people aboard the grounded ship, including passengers, scientists and crew.
Mexico Travel Advisory Issued After Eight Bodies Found Cancun – August 23, 2018, the U.S. has issued a travel advisory for Mexico after authorities found eight bodies (see video below) in Cancún this week. Officials say they have found a total of eight dead bodies on the streets of Cancun, with two bodies dumped at two spots and four others found shot to death individually.
Norwegian Star Passenger Kay Longstaff Overboard Near Croatia – August 18, 2018, around 2345 hours, passenger Kay Longstaff, 46, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom was aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Norwegian Star when she reportedly jumped overboard from the seventh deck, about 60 miles south of Pula, Croatia
Holland America Line Amsterdam Crew Overboard Alaska – August 2, 2018, a crew member, age 35, who worked aboard Holland America Line cruise ship Amsterdam went overboard near Biorka Island, Alaska. The crew member was last seen at 1800 hours. Amsterdam crew members conducted an extensive search onboard the ship after the man didn’t turn up for his shift.
Polar Bear Shot Dead After Cruise Ship Crew Attacked – July 28, 2018, Hapag Lloyd Cruises ship MS Bremen was calling at Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island, in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. A crew member was leading an expedition of passengers in the arctic circle when he was attacked by a polar bear.
Sydney Australia Christmas In July Brings Grinch Aboard Spirit – July 25, 2018, Sydney, Australia had a Christmas in July event aboard Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Spirit. The event was a promotion for Carnival Christmastime cruises. The spectacular promotional event began with the Grinch‘ rappeling down a rope, swinging from a helicopter in Sydney, Australia, to steal the fun from Carnival Spirit.
Ride The Ducks Third Mass Passenger Deaths Incident – July 19, 2018, Seventeen people were killed, fourteen people survived, including seven who were injured when the boat went down, state police said.
Holland America Line Cruise Ship Westerdam Overboard Friday The 13th – On Friday the 13th of July, 2018, around 1600 hours a male passenger, age 69, who was in cabin #4177 was reported missing by his wife after he missed a medical appointment aboard Holland America Line ship Westerdam. The passenger was later determined to have gone overboard in Bartlett Cove, Alaska.
Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Ship Passenger Overboard – July 10, 2018, a passenger aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship Seven Seas Mariner went overboard on the first night of the cruise. At the time, Seven Seas Mariner was in U.S. waters, just north of Cape Flattery, at the northwestern tip of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.
Allure of the Seas Honduras Honeymoon Zip Line Death – July 5, 2018, Egael Tishman, 24, from Israel and his new bride Shif Fanken, 27, were on their honeymoon aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) cruise ship Allure of the Seas in Roatan, Honduras for a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise. The couple who were married on Saturday June 30, booked an $89 per person, 3 hour zip line excursion, which was promoted by RCCL as “Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour”.
Forever Lucky Cruise Ship Very Unlucky Human Trafficking – July 2, 2018, the Philippines Coast Guard stopped the cruise ship, MV Forever Luckyfrom sailing off from the Port of Orion. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) rescued 139 alleged victims of human trafficking.
Norwegian Dawn Passenger Arrested After Attack – July 2, 2018, Norwegian Dawn cruise ship passenger Gina Martell, 36, from Kingston, Massachusetts, was arrested while the cruise ship was docked in Hamilton, Bermuda. The attacked took place around 9:30 pm, when the victim had been having dinner with her family in a restaurant when she left the table to use the bathroom.
Bahamas Four Cs Adventure Tours Excursion Boat Explosion – June 30, 2018, Stefanie and Brooke Schaffer were traveling on vacation with their mother and stepfather, Stacey and Paul Bender. The family joined a Four C’s Adventures tour to enjoy the sights off the island of Exuma, Bahamas, which is located about 130 miles south of Nassau. The boat was carrying 10 American tourists and two Bahamians at the time. According to the Royal Bahamas Police Force the tour boat was off Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays at the time of the explosion.
Norwegian Getaway Crew Treads Water Off Cuba 22 Hours – June 30, 2018, Francis Rakochi Santiago, 33, who works as a Norwegian Getaway crew member, went overboard around 3:20 p.m, about 28 miles northwest of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, reportedly tread water for 22 hours before he was RESCUED.
Passenger Issued $5000 Fine For Jumping Off Cruise Ship – June 16, 2018 a passenger decided to jump overboard during a dinner cruise which embarked from Columbia Point Marina, in Richland, Washington aboard the Water2Wine Cruises’ 96-foot luxury yacht ship Chrysalis. The Coast Guard issued a $5,000 fine, November 14, 2018.
Norwegian Dawn Passenger Dead After Jetski Accident – June 3, 2018, a 62-year-old female cruise ship passenger apparently fell from her jet ski and into the water, losing consciousness.
Norwegian Pearl Crew Member Missing Victoria BC Canada – June 2, 2018, Norwegian Pearl crew member Lloyd Takana, 36, has been reported missing by Norwegian Cruise Line. Missing is defined as “jumped ship”, meaning he willingly left the ship while it was in port at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and never returned before the cruise ship departed the port. Takana disembarked Norwegian Pearl just before midnight.
Princess Cruises Lawsuit After Passenger Injury During Crew Maintenance – May 23, 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruises. The lawsuit alleges, on Saturday, June 3, 2017, Gerald P. Lawlor II, from San Diego, California was on the private balcony of his room on the Grand Princess, Stateroom D-321, located on Dolphin Deck. “As a direct and legal result of the incident alleged herein, Lawlor suffered severe physical injury to his body, including, but not limited to, bruising, contusions, and orthopedic injuries to his cervical spine . . .”
Cruise Ship Passenger Overboard Near Fort Myers Florida – May 22, 2018, Brian Lamonds, 50, from Greensboro, North Carolina went overboard from a Carnival Cruise Lines cruise. Carnival Paradise was approximately 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida. Lamonds was reportedly on a cruise with his wife Kim Lamonds and partner Charles Gales when he went overboard.
MSC Cruises Ship MSC Seaside Crew Overboard – May 16, 2018, Michael M. Majaba, 37, from Boac, Marinduque, Philippines was a casino head technician aboard MSC Cruises ship MSC Seaside who was reported overboard from deck 7 at about 0100 hours. The cruise ship was about eight nautical miles southeast of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands at the time Majaba went overboard.
Man Tied To Cruise Ship Passenger Drug Overdose Death Arrested – May 10, 2018, it’s been over 15 years since Luigi Vitale, now 53, was investigated in the September 23, 2002 cruise ship death of Dianne Brimble, 42, aboard P&O cruise ship Pacific Sky. Vitale has now been arrested during a drug manufacturing raid at his $1.3 million home at Henley Beach South in Adelaide, Australia.
Havana Cuba Norwegian Sky Passengers Left High-Dry – April 25, 2018, Norwegian Cruise Lines had changed the scheduled departure time at Havana from 5:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Passengers were notified of the departure time, but inspite of Norwegian Sky notifcation to passengers, two were left high and dry in communist Havana, Cuba.
Darian Lipscomb and Carnival Cruise Lines Put Prospect VA on Map – April 16, 2018, Darian Lipscomb, 15, from Prospect, Virginia was hunted down by Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL). Carnival wanted Lipscomb’s Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise, and they wanted it REAL bad.
Male Cruise Ship Passenger Overboard Off Virginia – On Friday the 13th of April, 2018, a male cruise ship passenger, age 24, from a Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship went overboard. Anthem of the Seas was returning to Bayonne, New Jersey from a 7-night Caribbean cruise when the passenger went overboard 65 miles offshore from Chincoteague, Virginia.
Female Passenger Overboard Search Underway – April 12, 2108, at 1600 hours AEST, P&O Cruises cruise ship Pacific Dawn was searching for a female Australian passenger who was reported by a crew member to have gone overboard 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia.
Norwegian Sun Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap At Sea – March 16, 2018 Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship Norwegian Sun embarked on a 15-night re-positioning cruise from Miami, Florida through the Panama Canal arriving to San Pedro, California on Saturday, March 31. But, the 2000 passengers who booked the cruise were duped into a cruise aboard Norwegian Sun, which should have been in dry dock for refurbishing during that time. Passenger Mae-Claire Locke says her family endured “16 days of hell” on-board the ship.
Magellen Cruise Ship Passenger Dies Alone In Brazil – March 1, 2018, Joanna Kiln, 66, from the United Kingdom died after suffering from pneumonia, diabetes and cardiac failure when she was medically disembarked from Cruise & Maritime Voyages cruise ship Magellen. Kiln was brought ashore in a private tourist plane, she was alone with no family. Kiln later died at Hospital Municipal De Santarém in Santarém, Brazil.
Cruise Ship Passenger Brian Holland Charged With Alleged Sexual Abuse – February 27, 2018, Carnival Elation hot tub attack around 5:15pm, Holland is alleged to have groped under the water a teen with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Carnival Legend Cruise Down Under Becomes Cruise From Hell – February 16, 2018, during a repositioning cruise to Australia. Two weeks after arrival in Australia, all hell broke loose aboard. Carnival Legend was on a 10-day South Pacific Cruise when a brawl involving dozens of passenger from two families broke out aboard.
Army Deserter Arrested Aboard New Orleans Carnival Triumph – January 29, 2018, Sircaria Coleman, 30, from Shreveport, Louisiana was arrested for deserting the United States Army, when Carnival Cruise Lines cruise ship Carnival Triumph set sail on a five-day Caribbean cruise from New Orleans, Louisiana
MV Butiraoi Sinks 50 Passengers Aboard in Gilbert Islands – January 27, 2018, the MV Butiraoi, a 55-foot wooden catamaran ferry, left Nonouti Island in the Gilbert Islands for South Tarawa, Kiribati for a two day trip, with sea conditions “moderate to rough” at the time. The ferry began the nearly 150-mile journey to Betio on Tarawa with a reported 50 passengers aboard. There are more than 40 passengers now considered missing.
Jacksonville Cruise Passenger Arrested For Battery False Imprisonment – January 27, 2018, Jozef Fred Senna, 63, from Jacksonville, Florida had been celebrating his birthday with a cruise when he was charged with battery and false imprisonment after Carnival Cruise Lines cruise ship Carnival Magic returned to port.
Storm Chasers Star Joel Taylor Found Dead Aboard Harmony of the Seas – January 23, 2018, Discovery Channel Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor, 38, from Norman, Oklahoma died aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines cruise ship Harmony of the Seas while the cruise ship was near Puerto Rico.
Carnival Triumph Passenger Overboard in Gulf of Mexico – January 21, 2018, a passenger aboard Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Triumph went overboard while the cruise ship was in the Gulf of Mexico. On January 24, the passenger was identified as Juwanna Brooks, 44, from Franklin, Louisiana. She was on her first cruise, which was a Christmas gift from her husband Scott.
Carnival Elation Passenger Falls From Balcony – January 19, 2018, a cruise ship passenger aboard Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Elation fell from her balcony on Grand Deck 14 to Verandah Deck 11. Carnival spokeswoman Christine de la Huerta announced, “Early this morning a guest fell from a balcony. The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away.”
FBI Says Carnival Elation Passenger Murdered Aboard During Cruise – January 19, 2018, Tamara Loraine Tucker, 50, from Lawson, Missouri, was allegedly murdered by her “longtime love”, Eric Duane Newman, 53, during a celebration for her 50th birthday. The couple were aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ ship Carnival Elation, which embarked from Jacksonville, Florida, for a four-night cruise.
Norwegian Escape Crew Cocaine Smuggling Arrest – January 15, 2018, Akim Travis Davis Locto, 24, a crew member from Babonneau, Castries, Saint Lucia was arrested aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship Norwegian Escape at the Falmouth, (Trelawny) Jamaica Shipping Pier.
Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise Ship Shuttle Fire Death Victim Identified – January 14, 2018 around 1600 hours, the Sun Cruz casino ship Tropical Breeze shuttle boat caught fire. One person, reportedly a 42-year-old woman is dead and 14 others injured after a fire engulfed the Tropical Breeze casino shuttle boat Island Lady near Port Richey, Florida. Carrie Dempsey, 42 from Lutz, Florida who was originally from Cleveland, Ohio was the victim who died in the tragedy.
Freedom of the Seas Cruise Ship Crew Files Medical Disability Lawsuit – January 11, 2018, Madan Parsekar, a crew member from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) cruise ship Freedom of the Seas had worked as a waiter for fourteen years. In an on going medical saga, Parsekar, filed a lawsuit against the cruise line, three years after disembarking the cruise ship for a medical condition.
Royal Caribbean Raises Automatic Gratuity For 2018 – Happy New Year! Effective January 2, 2018, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is hiking the automatic gratuity paid to crew to $14.50 per person, per day for cruise ship passengers staying in most cabins.