Vision of the SeasToday, several passengers contacted me to ask for information regarding a Royal Caribbean crew member who apparently disappeared from the Vision of the Seas last week.

On Friday, December 9, 2017, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, which had left from Galveston, Texas earlier in the week, made announcements that a crew member could not be accounted for on the ship as of the early evening. The crew member has apparently checked into his job in the early morning hours but had disappeared sometime thereafter. A ship-wide search was conducted without success.

There was speculation that high winds and rough seas may have played a part in the crew member going overboard.

There is no indication that the ship stopped or turned around to conduct a search in the water. Unfortunately, the scenario fits a typical pattern when a crew member goes over the rails unwitnessed late at night or in the early hours of the morning on a Royal Caribbean ship.  Royal Caribbean has not invested in the available automatic man-overboard technology (using heat sensors or infrared or motion detection and radar technology) which can send a signal to the bridge, capture the image of the person going overboard, and track the person by radar in the water.  Instead, the ship will conduct a cabin search for the missing person, review closed-circuit television images and often do not perform a search at sea.

As I recently explained in an article about MSC Cruises recently implementing this technology, MSC Cruises Implements New Man Overboard System Amidst Industry Delays, over 22 people on average disappear each year from cruise ships, and only 13.8% are saved. Unfortunately, the cruise industry’s trade organization, the Cruise Line International Organization (CLIA), has chosen to minimize cruise disappearances by misleading PR releases rather than devoting financial resources toward improving safety. Most cruise lines do not invest in MOB systems which do not return a direct financial profit to the penny-pinching cruise industry.

Ironically, the Miami Herald today wrote an article styled Technology is About to Change the Future of Cruising which omitted any discussion about using existing technology to comply with the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which required the implementation of such life-saving technology.

Royal Caribbean is one of the cruise lines which will never respond to requests for information from us about disappearances of crew or passengers or other mishaps at sea.

Should you have any information about this disappearance, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

December 12, 2017 Update: Galveston Daily News Crew member missing from Vision of the Seas. A news station in Galveston reported that the missing crew member was a pool attendant from Mauritius (video below).

Photo Credit: Pjotr Mahhonin – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

  • Love It Deals

    This message was posted on CruiseCritic:

    “Unfortunately this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

    There is a memorial coming up for this crew member.

    There is footage of him jumping overboard. I have a very good friend who works on this ship. They had been searching for him for many hours before the announcement was made

    It’s a very stressful time of year to be working on ships.

    Very tragic.”

  • Anita

    This industry needs a big turn over. The way RCCL and other Cruise Liners treatment of these so valuable individual is appalling. The hours they are expected to work is unbelievable give them some goddam luxuries whilst they away from their family for such a long time. Give them free access to the internet so they may contact family everyday. But as always all about profit RCCL and many other Cruise Liners not human life.

  • Hassy

    RCL does not care about crew members at all. I remember when I was working there, one crew member officer died because of heart attack. The same day there were two crew member parties with loud music. I asked one guy, how come they make parties when crew member died, he said, that they don’t care he was a part of machine that is easy to replace.

  • Jody

    I was on this cruise. There was a bunch of announcements regarding this guy. He was working on the deck during the worst of the storm. The guy fell off during one of the big gusts of wind and major rocking. They did an emergency announcement of ALPHA DECK 9…that’s where the pool was. People were looking overboard for him. The waves were 18 feet high. They never stopped. They did say they reported to the coast guard. This was the worst cruise I’ve ever been to.

  • Edgar Avila

    I am going to answer to Hassy post that RCL does not care about the crew. That’s not TRUE. RCL take care of every crew members onboard the ship. If the crew member feels that way He is isolated his life instead of mingling to other crew members.

    In every incident happened onboard the management initiated to help the family.

    Hassy is entitled to whatever he wants to say here.

    On my part, RCL is the Best Cruise Line among the rest.

  • Debra

    I was on this cruise. It was a horrible tropical storm we went through for a while. They closed the decks about 9am we weren’t allowed back out until the next day which was disembarkment day. It was a sad last day and we thought he was thrown overboard, but to hear it was a suicide saddens me even more. Prayers to his family.