Liberty of the Seas A number of newspapers in Galveston are reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Royal Caribbean crew member who apparently went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas this morning.  

ABC-13 News in Galveston is reporting that a 39-year-old Filipino crew member was reported missing from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship around 4:30 a.m. this morning.

Images of the unidentified crew member were reportedly captured by a closed circuit television (CCTV) on the Liberty of the Seas at about 1:30 a.m. Monday. He was later reported missing at 4:30 a.m. after he failed to report to his job station.  

The Coast Guard search involved an airplane dispatched from the Coast guard station in Corpus Christi and a patrol boat from Galveston. The crew member is believed to have disappeared approximately 170 miles southeast of Galveston. 

The three hour delay between the last images of the crew member on CCTV and the reporting of the missing crew member probably means that the cruise ship was not equipped with an automatic man overboard system which would have immediately notified the bridge that a person has gone over the rails of the ship and into the water.  

AIS tracking systems reveal that the Liberty of the Seas apparently did not conduct searches for the crew member in the Gulf of Mexico.

This is an issue we have written about regularly. 

Modern man overboard technology includes motion detection systems which can immediately signal the bridge and simultaneously capture an image of the person going overboard thus verifying that is not a false alarm. The technology can actually track the person in the water, even at night, with radar and infrared technology. 

Where most overboards involving cruise passengers seem to be the result of the sale of excessive alcohol, overboards involving crew members seems to involve employees jumping overboard (there is no evidence that this occurred in this specific case). In 2012, I chronicled a dozen crew members who went overboard from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise ships during a period of three years. I cited the difficult working conditions and low pay which crew members face which are almost unimaginable by U.S. standards: 12 plus hour days, 7 days a week, 30 days a month with no days off over the course of 6 to 10 month contacts, for as little as $550 a month for non-tip earning ship employees. I asked Is Royal Caribbean Working Its Crew Members to Death?

This problem is not limited solely to the Royal Caribbean brands.  We have written about crew members from Carnival, MSC, NCL and Princess who have apparently intentionally gone overboard. 

In our experience, the medical treatment for physical injuries involving crew members is spotty at best. Ibuprofen is often the only "treatment." Medical care for crew members suffering from depression and other emotional issues is virtually non-existent.

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Hassocks5489 at English Wikipedia – Public Domain, commons / wikimedia.

  • ASAP

    This concern really happen bcos of what you already stated. Aside from family problem that crew are experiencing onboard, crew also experience verbal abuse, physical abuse, discrimination once you reported it through management onboard they will ask you a lot of annoying question however no positive response from the management.
    Big cruiseline companies are exploiting crew especially those voiceless & powerless. Asians & those crewmember in the lower rank.
    Crew member almost kill a passenger in NADM but honestly, the first to be blame is HAL Management, Bcoz they didn’t advise regarding the nude charter cruise nor no option was give to them.
    Also a crew member who was terminated by they said #1 cruiseline company however the crewmember was being ask to pay the plane tickets.
    This are some of the reasons why crew member think of jumping overboard.Once I wanted to jump overboard but not kill myself but to tell the cruise fanatics & the greedy cruiseline company to STOP exploiting crewmember. They need to know that without the crew Cruiseline Company & agency is Nothing!

  • Keith

    “Medical care for crew members suffering from depression and other emotional issues is virtually non-existent.”
    I am guessing here but perhaps it is policy not to employ those with mental/emotional problems in the first place, which would make sense on a ship enviroment.
    When such problems are accrued on board, perhaps crew may have their contract terminated in order to obtain land based care and not compromise theirs or others safety at sea.

  • Slavery Of The Seas

    Royal Caribbean is treating crew members a a slaves. There is too much pressure, management is very rude, and they do not care if you have some problem at home or with other employees. They have a phone number that you can call to report harassment, but if you report management they will find a way to get rid of you.
    Oasis Of The Seas is a very good example for overworking crew, and treating them like a slaves. I am working there and I know. When you walking trough I 95 you can see so many unhappy faces of the crew. So sad. When they approach to the guests, they need to smile, but inside they are not happy. I know at least two crew members that wanted to jump overboard there. They get rid of them of course, they send people to follow them until they reach home. RCL push crew into stress and depression. But when you become depressed, they do not care and find a way to fire you.

  • Enrique Gonzaga

    I had a laugh when I read Ibuprofen yes very true. For pain,fever etc. seems this is the best they can afford or this is the International Branded Pain Reliever doctors only know. Crew work their asses 12 to 14 hours not to mention if the ship is due for U.S. Public Health then you have to get up early morning for internal inspection. Any finding will surely put yourself in big trouble not to mention being documented for that. Salary? Asians suffers the most. For it would be impossible to get this money at their own homeland. Treatment of supervisors,department heads,any crew who got stripes on their shoulder is also a big factor. Americans, Europeans, English to mention some, are top qualifiers. Some Asians get lucky themselves. Mostly can’t fight or even answer back for they are afraid of losing their job. Even when it comes to food, it’s either eat or starve.
    Benefits? Not even separation pay, you loyally work your ass 5, 10, 15, 20 even more than that and you get what? Certificate that you can hang in your wall? No retirement pay whatsoever.
    These are just few to mention. And so, when crew loses his grip and patience, this is one way of putting it. Ending one’s life with this unbearable struggle of existence working on a cruise ship.
    Not so many are lucky, not so many are blessed with patience, understanding and wisdom.
    I hope owners or top officers of the company realizes these abuses and start caring for their crew. What they think of is GAIN, PROFIT, REVENUE and NOT RESPECT FOR EACH which should be on top of it all. CARING FOR ALL goes the same way.
    I am but a small voice but if everyone starts sharing the same then it will be louder and bigger, and maybe they will start paying ATTENTION, start LISTENING, start BEING A PART OF THE CREW.
    Thanks for the opportunity of being heard.

  • Lorelei Nash

    I just got off of The Liberty Sunday. 4/23 had a blast, but sorry for crew and how many hours and hard work they do everyday, I carried that with me when I would watch staff hustle so much, keeping the posh passengers happy and safe.

    Something happened while we were in port on cruise, every port day crew had meetings…
    I think the crew was told they had a pay cut.
    Don’t know much more than that, there was an unhappy feeling when we got back on..
    We were told there was a meeting while we were off and it had to do with pay.
    Two in another port…
    Also we heard, dining room staff which are already over worked, would now be serving drinks. To dinning room patrons, this puts more stress on them to get food out in a speedy manor……

    I bet this bartender was effected, by the no tips he would get from dinner guests who now got their drinks from wait staff… So his pay was effective too. In a double way…

    I do love Royal, we have the best of times, but wish to see staff given more rest and breaks.
    I myself would never work onboard… I could not do it! I don’t know that many onboard with their smiles etc, are really actors in disguise, role playing for the cruise lines…

  • a.p

    I work for many years in industry,I seen so many abuses from higher positions, is true, the only medicine is iprobofen, he is a hazardous med, many have experienced side effects, and I herd that a few crew members did past away, hart problem…an carnival I seen a crew member that colaps in crew mess after dining romm, from exohostion, brain anevrism, few days erlier she went at the medical center asking for a day off, denied, reason, for lack of waiters. Alot of accidents, specially an carnival, injuries, back, wrists problems, all treated with iprobofen, and after few hours rest, if that, you ar been send back to work.
    Buttom line is that they care just about profit,alot off rhe higher position, management, they abuse, threatening, and use the position to help ther kind, long as the company makes profit they dont care about this rasial problems . the laws that they ar implemented on sea, they need to be more strict, it is a modern slavery, promising a decent life but the truth is different

  • antonio fernandes

    sorry for the young lad who lost at sea. having worked on ms galaxy for years.crew member on tremendous pressure to get everything correct for think i want to point out is crew members do have a good life working on cruise ship and get to see different countries but there is a big racial discrimination onboard which will never change.

    antonio fernandes
    newport wales uk

  • Hieu Huynh

    The most horrible thing in cruise ship are managements, and bad working conditions… managements will force you do things that they want they dont care what you are doing or what is going on sround you…after all, if there is complaining they wash their hands and throw all problem to you…

  • Armelle

    I have worked over ten years onboard. It was very hard but I never regretted working onboard. Made some money and before all, saved some money. Some contracts were really tough but at the end of the day, nobody forced me to go back…

  • Cruise lover

    I love to cruise and my favorite cruise company is Holland America. Iv’e been fortunate enough to have taken many cruises with this company. There rates to date, have been reasonable and I have had few complaints (not worth mentioning), in my experience. The crew on HAL ships are mostly from the Philippines or Indonesia. Most of the crew are worldly wise and certainly aware of what is expected of them on these long cruise contracts. Most of the help wanted advertising is done via word of mouth (friends, relatives, etc.), and so I belive the new hires now what they are getting into. If I were younger, I would consider working cruise ships. A perfect way to see the world; room and board included and elegant working environment. Stop complaining. So many complainers these days….snowflakes; cupcakes….oye veh!