Yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard located a Royal Caribbean crew member who reportedly jumped off of the Majesty of the Seas around 4:30 a.m. as the cruise ship approached Miami.

Overboard Cruises Passengers and Crew MembersThirty-one-year-old Robert Mado was found treading water off Cutler Bay about two hours after the Royal Caribbean cruise ship issued a distress call Friday morning. Crew member Mado was an assistant purser on the cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean claims that witnesses watched Mr. Mado jump overboard.

This sounds rather strange – why would several crew members be awake and on the deck at 4:30 in the morning?

There are a lot of questions surrounding this overboard – the twenty-fourth from a cruise ship this year alone.

Did he really jump? Why?  We know first hand that many crew members face a great deal of stress caused by working long hours, seven days a week, away from their families. Working on cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean – which is experiencing financial problems – can be particularly stressful.  But who knows exactly what happened?  

The good news is that crew member Mado is recovering and apparently is in good condition.

Jaunted – the pop culture travel site – has an interesting perspective of "man overboards" in an article entitled "Enough With People Jumping Off Cruise Ships Already!"  The article contains a lot of erroneous information, such as suggesting that the majority of overboards are suicides or intentional jumps.  But there is one thing that Jaunted has absolutely right:

.  .  .  as long as the cruise industry grows, the number of people who go overboard will grow as well  .  .  . 



"Overboard Catcher" drawing              Roque Mocán Quan