A crew member aboard the Carnival Breeze died this morning as the cruise ship was sailing from the Bahamas to England, according to several crew members who wish to remain anonymous.
József Szaller was an assistant shore excursion manager from Hungary who had worked for Carnival for the past three years. His collleagues found him dead in his cabin from what many believe was a decision to end his life.
Mr. Szaller had worked for Carnival since January 11, 2017. He had worked on the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Breeze for the past three years.
The Carnival Breeze is one of several Carnival cruise ships which is finally taking crew members back to their home countries after the cruise line suspended operations nearly two months ago. The Carnival Breeze is sailing to Southampton, England with around 1,300 crew members from Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and England. The Breeze is now sailing out of Bahamian waters across the Atlantic.
A Carnival employee explained to me that the Carnival Magic is repatriating crew members back to Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria whereas the Carnival Fantasy is going to India and Africa. The Carnival Glory is sailing to South America.
The Carnival crew members with whom I have communicated express their sadness on receiving news of losing one of their colleagues. One crew member who knew him was “devastated” by the news and said that he was “a good team member and an awesome human being.” His family reportedly has been informed of his death.
Crew-Center was the first web site to report of the crew member’s death. It indicated that his sail and sign in card was last used three days ago on Wednesday. The site said that “depression is striking hard to us on board after a long period of time in isolation on the ships,” according to a Carnival crew member.
A week ago today, we reported that a Polish electrician on the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas went overboard south of Greece.
The crew members on the Carnival Breeze who discussed Mr. Szaller’s death expressed experiencing long periods of monotomy as they have been on the ships and under quarantine for COVID-19 for a long period of time. They complained of boredom mixed with feeling of stress, uncertainty and confusion due to a lack of communication by the ship’s leadership regarding their future.
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June 1, 2020 Update: The Daily Echo reported today that a post mortem by a pathologist concluded that the cause of death of this crew member was hanging.
Photo credits: Facebook; Marine Traffic; ChrisCruises CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia.