In November 2006, a 73 year old Scottish passenger was reported missing from the Century cruise ship while the vessel traveling near Madeira in the Canary Islands. The disappearance was discovered when a crew member reported that passenger James ("Jimmy") Ewan, of Fife, Scotland, had not used his cabin the previous night.
Ship logs indicate that Mr. Ewan, who had been traveling alone, did not disembark in the previous port. The cruise ship conducted a cursory search and then continued on its 14-night trans-Atlantic cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Miami.
Today a newspaper in Scotland is reporting that the mystery of Mr. Ewan’s disappearance five years ago has been solved. The newspaper reports that Mr. Ewan’s "best pal and executor of his will," John Cooper, has been struggling with settling his estate for the past several years. The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Portuguese Consulate apparently were of little help.
Mr. Cooper complained that he could not obtain a certificate of death so that Mr. Ewan’s business could be wound up and his will could be executed.
The newspaper reports that Mr. Ewan had lost his wife 20 years ago and had no children.
Cabin attendants found his personal belongings neatly laid out in his cabin, including the executor of his will’s name and telephone phone number. Mr. Ewan reportedly stated that " . . . he didn’t want to be a burden to anyone as he got old . . . " The newspaper reports that "he scrapped his car two days before leaving, which was odd because he couldn’t do without it."
Mr. Cooper stated that "I’m the executor of his will and the fact my details were sitting on top of his wallet in his cabin rang alarm bells. It’s like he tied everything up and not left anything outstanding."
If I decided to end my life like this, I hope that someone would remember me – like Mr. Ewan – with a big smile on my face, waving goodbye.
Photo credit: dailyrecord.co.uk